I’ve been ill for well over a week now and it’s starting to get tedious.
When you’re tired and ill even the smallest tasks begin to wear you down. I have had aches and pains and nausea, reducing my caloric intake and reducing my energy. I’ve been trying to explain what it feels like to my family.So to explain better to you, I’ve taken some notes about it that I will share with you, but before that I’ll speak to you about chronic nausea as a general rule.
Nausea is an awful feeling in your stomach that feels like an urge to vomit. The feeling of chronic nausea doesn’t always end in throwing up, but it makes you feel like you’re on the verge of it. Chronic unexplained nausea can have many causes (gastrointestinal disease, chronic infection, vertigo, constant anxiety, food allergies).Some are not as obvious to diagnose as more common triggers, such as food poisoning, pregnancy or the stomach flu.
What could be the cause?
Pregnancy: Morning sickness is often associated with pregnancy in the first 3 months but can last up to the last trimester if you’re unlucky. The main treatment for morning sickness is to avoid triggers, which may include stuffy rooms, odors, heat, humidity, noise, and visual and physical motion.If you are pregnant and your nausea persists for more than a few weeks, make an appointment with a gp for advice.
Check any medication: If you’re taking medication there could always be a risk of unwanted side effects. Check the guidance and speak to your GP about possible medication swaps you could take to avoid the nauseous.
Watch for food allergies. Food allergies can often go undiagnosed and can be a cause of chronic nausea and stomach upset. The most common foods that trigger allergic reaction in people are: eggs, fish, cow’s milk (and related dairy products), peanuts, walnuts, soy products, shellfish (shrimp, crab, mussels) and wheat. Be more aware of how you feel within a few minutes of eating certain foods.
- Try an elimination diet (removing foods one by one) and see if that cures your nausea.
- Other allergy symptoms to look out for include: swelling in your face, lips and/or throat, congested nose and sinuses, itchy skin, hives, headache, brain fog and difficulty breathing.
- If you think you might have a food allergy, or intolerance, you can get tested by a nutritionist or allied health professional who is trained in allergy testing.
Regardless of what is causing your nausea, the best way to reduce symptoms is to remove any triggers. Whole and bland foods are a great way of keeping the acids in the stomach regulated and relaxed. Eating fatty, fried and/or spicy food will generally make it worse. As such, eat bland whole foods that are low in fat and higher in fiber, such as whole wheat bread, bran cereal, and fresh fruits and veggies. Furthermore, chew slower and eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- If you can eat small meals, focus on rice, boiled potatoes and bread. Veggies and fruits are fine too, like melon, banana and apples but avoid ones that can cause gas and make nausea worse like garlic, onions and cabbage.
- It’s recommended that you wait about six hours to eat solid foods after you throw up. Sip on some diluted chicken or beef broth while you wait.
- Avoid: bright lighting, loud music, continuous and repetitive noises (bass music & radio chatter).
- motion, such as travelling and moving too much.
- Avoiding strong odours. In addition to removing eating fatty, spicy and fried foods, you should also avoid smelling them as strong odours often cause nausea to get worse. Other strong odours to avoid include perfume/cologne, cigarette smoke, body odours, onions, garlic and curry
- Rest up and speak to a GP.
My personal experience with chronic nausea
The backstory: My nephews and nieces all suffered from sickness and diarrhea on Sunday. It only lasted 12 hours and all was fine come Monday morning. However, all week my close family members were in and out of their houses picking up the bacteria that I came into contact with. By Thursday I was asked to go over and help my big sister sign some papers so she could move house (finally!) We’re all so excited for her.Being there all day, was exhausting my hands were full with the boys so I had no time to get anything to eat and it was quite tiresome. Packing up the flat for the move must be the explanation of my tiredness and lack of appetite.
When It got to Friday morning I’d heard that the whole household I had been in contact with had suffered from sickness and diarrhea again and now my father had it too. I was certain I was going to get it, my appetite had come back partially on Friday morning so ate as normal but suffered from nausea and feverishness all evening and throughout the night. Leading to a horrendous Saturday.
Sunday: Kids ALL ill with vomiting and diarrhea for 12 hours. (V/D)
Monday-Thursday: My family were in contact with the children at my sisters but weren’t ill.
Thursday: I was over at my sisters, packing and looking after the kids, barely eating and very tired. But not ill. The kids and their parents were Ill during the night as was my father, who lives with me.
Friday: My father was ill all day and evening. I was still nausea and felt very feverous, continuously hot and cold but no V/D
Saturday: The moving day, I was very ill. I had no appetite, I could barely stand up right for long and was hot and cold throughout the day. Trying my best, I soldiered on as so far I wasn’t suffered from V/D. I managed to move boxes, steam clean floors, paint bathrooms and look after the children. by 4pm after not eating for almost 3 days I was dizzy and nauseous so had to sleep for 20 minutes. I woke up feeling much better and had a small appetite so ate some of the celebratory cake and enjoyed a gin and tonic. Still, the night had to come to an end for me at 10.30 so I went to bed! – Spending the whole night feverish and wish a bowl in my bed, expecting to vomit. Nothing.
Sunday: My niece was ill again with V/D and later so was her father. I woke up and was able to eat, still nausea an hour after but I felt much better then I had the day before. I managed to eat almost 1,300 calories in high-calorie foods, small portions.
Monday: No more fever but still nauseous after eating.
Tiredness, Nausea 1-2 hours after eating, Bloating and gassy after eating. Extreme fatigue, sugar cravings, muscle ache and lack of muscle.
Looking back at the week as a health advisor I would have said to myself ‘look at your diet’. I really believe that food is normally the first thing to look at when you feel ill, it’s something that goes into the body, helps it function so when it’s not right, you don’t feel right. However, with all the sickness that was going on in the family I put my knowledge on the bench and didn’t consider my eating habits to be an issue.
Food is always an option when it comes to finding out why you’re feeling unwell. Turns out I had been eating 100g+ of Soy products everyday, someday’s upwards of 300g! I should’ve called this post
“I have an intollerance to quorn and it made me very ill”
But, alas. I know the error of my ways. Always check your diet first! Always check your diet first!