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Nausea from Anxiety: How to Deal With It?

Nausea from anxiety
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

Umar Javed



When stress or anxiety levels are high, the body goes through several changes. It may cause bodily signs like trembling and lightheadedness, your pulse rate may quicken, and your breathing may become more rapid. You can also feel butterflies in your tummy, along with an anxious stomach. As a result, it is also common to experience nausea from anxiety.

Anxiety-related nausea can make you feel sick to your stomach or dizzy. However, you may manage your anxiety and nausea with a few dietary adjustments and medication. In this post, we’ll discuss the definition of anxiety sickness and its causes, remedies, and coping mechanisms.

If you have any symptoms of anxiety, consult a doctor and get effective treatment strategies for anxiety.

How Can Anxiety Cause Nausea?

Recent studies [1*] have revealed that experiencing stress or anxiety may make you more susceptible to gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, it is important to tackle anxiety and nausea simultaneously.

Anxiety triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response, preparing your body and mind to handle a dangerous situation. This is a typical response to a stressful circumstance; it can aid your survival when necessary. As part of this response, your body releases several hormones. That can have an impact on almost every body system. Some hormones [2*] can disturb the gut flora when they enter the digestive tract, leading to nausea-inducing stomach symptoms.

Is Anxiety Nausea Normal?

Nausea and other gastrointestinal issues brought on by anxiety are common things. It is because the digestive system has the second-highest concentration of nerves in the body after the brain. Even some scientists refer to the gut as the “second brain.” It also explains why the hormones and chemicals released during anxiety might result in digestive problems and lead to nausea.

So, during a period of extreme anxiety, you can experience a slight case of motion sickness. It’s similar to the “butterflies in the stomach” sensation you might experience before giving a speech in front of a large audience or attending a job interview. This particular sickness might go away very soon.

But occasionally, nausea brought on by anxiety might make you feel utterly ill in your stomach. You may feel like you need to go to the bathroom because your stomach is churning violently. You might even start to feel like dry heaving or throwing up.

Experiencing anxiety is not unusual, and it’s not always a terrible thing. But if you consistently have nausea and anxiety, it can be a problem.

To receive a precise diagnosis, discuss your anxiety symptoms with a health professional.

How to Get Rid of Nausea from Anxiety?

You may do several things to help control nausea and anxiety, assuming it’s not a real emergency.

  • Deep breathing. Both anxiety and nausea can be relieved by deep breathing. You might breathe quickly if you’re anxious or queasy. According to research [3*] , breathing deeply and in control can reduce nausea, especially if you start the activity as soon as symptoms appear.
  • Drinking water. Even though drinking enough water doesn’t relieve anxiety, it can lessen severe symptoms of nausea. In fact, maintaining hydration [4*] may also aid in preventing anxiety.
  • Resting. If all else fails, it could be time to rest, which is what you usually do when you’re unwell. Wearing some relaxed, comfortable clothing that doesn’t press against your stomach or belly might be helpful.
  • Eat something mild. Some people experience anxiety and nausea when they are hungry. The body’s stress response can be triggered by low blood sugar. Additionally, being hungry can produce nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms due to increased stomach acid levels and stomach contractions brought on by hunger. Have a snack containing some of these: toast, bananas, herbal tea, or protein-rich foods.
  • Movement. Exercise releases endorphins, which are compounds that can help lower stress and anxiety levels. Pick an activity you enjoy doing and make an effort to get active for at least a short while each day. You can also try muscle relaxation techniques.
  • Home remedies. Here are some natural foods that you can consume that may help get rid of nausea:
    1. Ginger.
    2. Lemon or lemon juice.
    3. Mint.

You may also take steps to prevent or stop vomiting if your nausea persists or worsens. If you’re throwing up:

  • Sip modest amounts of water and other clear beverages.
  • Take a rest.
  • Eat only liquids until nausea passes.

Ask MEDvidi doctors what anxiety medication will work best for you.

How to get rid of nausea from anxiety

Is There a Medication for Anxiety and Nausea?

Certain medications might be able to help if you frequently feel nauseous from anxiety. For instance, drugs like promethazine are used to treat nausea, vomiting, allergies, and dizziness. Doctors may also prescribe it for anxiety treatment off-label.

Moreover, there might be a chance that your anxiety medications are causing nausea. For instance, a psychiatrist may recommend an antidepressant for anxiety from the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This kind of drug boosts serotonin levels in the body, which can lead to nausea. In that case, discuss the medication alternatives that can help you overcome the negative effects of anxiety and nausea with your doctor or psychiatric specialist.

How to Tell If Nausea is from Anxiety?

A common sign of being extremely anxious or stressed is nausea. When you feel calm and back to normal after experiencing nausea from anxiety, the sensation disappears. However, there’s a significant probability there are other causes if you have nausea for an extended period. You can get assistance from a medical expert in identifying the true reason for your nausea.


4 sources
  1. The effects of gastrointestinal disturbances on the onset of depression and anxiety. (2022)
    Source link
  2. Gut hormones in microbiota-gut-brain cross-talk. (2020)
    Source link
  3. Slow deep breathing prevents the development of tachygastria and symptoms of motion sickness. (1999)
    Source link
  4. Drinking plain water is associated with decreased risk of depression and anxiety in adults: Results from a large cross-sectional study. (2018)
    Source link
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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology

Umar Javed



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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.