Friday, September 18, 2009

15 Tips for Eating When Nauseous

Over at the group forum I found out that having issues with eating while feeling anxious is more common than  I originally thought. If one of your symptoms from anxiety is feeling nauseous, than naturally food does not sound appealing. However, if you are having a hard time where your anxiety is extremely high on a daily basis, you could be worried about the effects of what not eating can do to you.

I face this issue constantly. At first it made me feel really guilty because I figured I was doing more harm to myself. But over time I have learned to listen to my body and follow its lead. For example, I have said this before and I'll say it again. Unless you have an eating disorder like Anorexia, your body won't let you starve. It is always looking out for its self preservation which is why you have the anxiety to begin with- your body senses a danger of some kind. (I am no doctor, so if you do starve, please don't haunt me).

I learned this lesson in a different way when I was pregnant. All my life I have tried to gain weight unsuccessfully. When I found out I was pregnant I was really worried I wouldn't be able to gain enough weight. However my body knew what needed to be done and I was able to gain 30 pounds. This let me know that when I am not pregnant, my body is doing what it needs to, and if gaining weight isn't one of them, than maybe I should accept my normal as ok.

So anyway, onto what I want to share. When your feeling sick but feel like you need to eat something, here are some helpful tips:

The first tip is one I've figured out on my own.
1. I like to sip on Ensures when I am really anxious and nauseous because for some reason its easier to drink than eat. Ensures are considered meal replacements and are full of good stuff for your body. I personally like the chocolate flavored ones.
These next tips are for nausea in general. Found from "If nausea tends to occur at breakfast, try to take it easy in the morning and have already prepared foods on hand for when you're hungry. Try breakfast bars, dry toast or re-heat oatmeal that you prepared the night before. Consider not cooking breakfast as seeing and smelling food in the morning can trigger nausea.Consider the following tips to help manage nausea. These suggestions have worked for others."
2. Leave dry crackers by your bed. Before getting out of bed in the morning, eat a few and sit in bed for a few minutes.
3. Sip cool, not cold, carbonated drinks, like ginger ale, 7-Up, Sprite or cola. (make sure its caffeine free as that can aggravate anxiety)
4. Try some peppermint, chamomile or ginger tea -- they may calm the stomach.
5. Avoid hot, spicy, strong-smelling and greasy foods that might upset your stomach.
6. Eat foods at room temperature or cooler; hot foods may add to nausea.
7. Try using capsules of ginger root powder, available at health food stores. Ginger may reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness, like dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
8. Fresh ginger, lightly cooked or juiced with fruits or vegetables like carrots or apples, is great to add to the diet, and may be as effective as dried ginger.
9. Try the BRAT Diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast).
10. Prevent dehydration during bouts of nausea by drinking small amounts of clear and cool beverages every fifteen minutes or so. Then gradually work your way back up to normal eating by taking small sips of water every several minutes. Increase the intake until you can tolerate a small meal.
11. If you vomit, replace fluids with broth, carbonated beverages, juice, Jell-O or Popsicles.

This next tip comes from following my sister's advice of making every bite count. I wanted to make sure that when I could eat, it was something that would give me energy and nutrition so I could keep up with my child. So I did some research to see what foods could help the most. I found this:

12. "To get an energy boost, eat a snack with 200 to 2,000 mg of tyrosine, like 8 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt (656 mg); 1/3 cup of dried soy nuts (850 mg), or 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese melted on bread (1,314 mg)." For more info on tyrosine read the entire article here.
I found the following information in this article helpful as well:

13. Eat slowly: Rather than chowing down on foods, take nice and small bites so that you don't build up more nausea. Eat more frequently throughout the day if you have to, but be sure to not eat such heavy meals for your body may have a hard time digesting it.

14. Resting with your head elevated: If you're lying in bed, be sure to keep your head elevated simply by placing two pillows on top of one another. If you don't want to be lying down, simply sitting up, rather than leaning will also do the trick.

15. Avoid brushing your teeth: It's not such a good idea to brush your teeth when you're feeling nauseous because having your mouth open for a while can really start to upset your system again. It's safe to brush your teeth when your nausea has greatly decreased.

Hope these are useful. Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway!


1 comment:

Bill Chandler said...

Very timely information. My 14 year old daughter has been tormented by chronic nausea for the past six months. She was found to have gall bladder issues and had it removed. But the symptoms continued and she's being assessed for other probs. I feel so badly for her. Anyway, this is great information and it's been passed on to her.

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