Digestive issues such as acid reflux may be giving rise to uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea. Here our Digestive expert Ali Cullen explains why this be happening and how a range of home, herbal and conventional remedies can help to keep your symptoms under control.
Acid reflux is a common complaint nowadays, but with it, it can also bring a host of uncomfortable symptoms, nausea being one of them.
Acid reflux can occur as a result of the improper functioning of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS). This ring of muscle is important as it helps control what enters the stomach, and prevents the contents from flowing back up. However, if this sphincter malfunctions, we can end up with acid reflux as the contents of our stomach are able to travel back into our oesophagus. By this time the contents are quite acidic which can give rise to other symptoms including heartburn and nausea.
As the acidic contents of our stomach make contact with our oesophagus we can experience a number of symptoms. Heartburn is a common problem for many, but actually, we can be left having been affected in other ways too, for example experiencing nausea.
There are a number of different reasons acid reflux can contribute to nausea.
Firstly, in instances of acid reflux, very often low stomach as opposed to too much is the problem. Stomach acid is important for digesting your food and if this process isn’t working effectively, we can be left with a full, uncomfortable tummy and nausea can occur more easily.
Next, as the contents of the stomach travel backwards up into the oesophagus this can make us feel quite ill. This can happen alone, or in combination with other symptoms which may exacerbate this further, including regurgitation, coughing or hiccups. Regurgitation may leave an acidic taste in the mouth, and coughing and hiccups will give rise to uncomfortable symptoms which if recurrent can give rise to nausea or even vomiting.
Nausea is uncomfortable but some simple home tips could help to keep your symptoms at bay:
Watch what you eat. With acid reflux present or not, our food choices can affect how we feel. But with this symptom in mind this is more important than ever. Make sensible food choices and avoid overly fatty or sweet foods which are more likely to make us feel sickly afterwards. Avoid fizzy drinks which contain lots of gas, to help prevent your stomach from bubbling away unnecessarily
Ginger. Ginger has long since been used traditionally to treat stomach complaints including acid reflux and nausea. It is thought to help gently support the functions of the stomach and trials have found it effective to help treat nausea as a result of a number of different situations1.
There may be some natural remedies to help keep nausea as a result of acid reflux under control:
Bitter herbs. Our Digestisan is a traditional herbal remedy which contains a combination of bitter herbs including artichoke, dandelion, boldo and soothing peppermint.
Silicol Gel.Silicol Gel is rich in silicic acid and helps create a protective layer throughout the digestive tract. This means it may help calm some of the symptoms associated with acid reflux and IBS including nausea.
For any persistent cases of nausea we would always recommend you have this checked by your doctor. If acid reflux is the likely cause, and home and herbal remedies haven’t done the trick for you, they may be able to prescribe some antacid medication which may be helpful as short-term solution.
1.Ernst E and Pittler MH. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Br J Anaeth, 2000, 84(3), (367-371)
Hello. My name is Alison Cullen and I am an experienced nutritional therapist with a clinic in Ayrshire, Scotland. I currently combine running my clinic with the role of Education Manager for A Vogel. I lecture, train and write extensively on health issues, which I find endlessly fascinating.
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