Nausea and chronic illness seem to go hand in hand. I don’t know about you, but my stomach is a mess. I know that some of you are battling illnesses that are from intestinal issues, and I’m sure you and your docs are trying to handle that with your own medical plan. But some of us with other chronic illness end up with tummy troubles, especially nausea.
Sometimes I think its from all the pills we have to take and others, well, who knows what it comes from. Either way I have found some remedies on my own that work for me. Maybe they’ll help you too. While they’re mostly things you can try on your own, some of the meds I have found helpful you should run by your own docs just to be sure its ok.
Nausea and Chronic Illness
When you gotta take something on an empty stomach, you gotta do it. I don’t know how to help that situation, but once I’m done with that part, I do this when I feel sick, and have to take the rest of my pills:
When you can’t eat a meal yet, but its time to take your medicine I try these foods:
- Ginger Ale and Crackers. The old stand by really does work and gets something in your stomach. Just be sure the ginger ale contains actual real ginger. I was surprised at how many soda brands that do not have the real stuff.
- Slushies. A lot of things that soothe an upset stomach contain sugar. Though it seems contradictory, it works. I’ve been told that it “tricks” your brain into thinking you’ve had full meal for a while. Not sure if that’s true, but it works. Also, the cold on my stomach, for whatever reason, helps.
- Kool-aid. Sugary drink again.
- Jello. I got used to it in the hospital and now it works almost every time!
- Real Ginger. You can use grated real ginger in hot water. Just take really small sips at a time. This one really works well.
- Water and Baking Soda. This is good for a sour stomach. (too acidic) A teaspoon in a small glass of water is all you need. It takes a little while but does provide relief.
- Apples. For some reason this is one food I can always eat. They’re not acidic and they soothe my nausea by getting something in my stomach.
- Chicken Broth. They say eat chicken soup when your sick right? It works here as well as for colds and flues.
- Gumballs. This one came from my doctor when I was pregnant. I was sooo grateful. Just another version of the sugar theory.
- Peppermint Tea. This doesn’t always work for me, but others swear by it, so its worth a try.
- Milk. Coats my stomach so I can keep medicine down.
Medicines for Nausea
All of these are OTC but you know the drill:
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOC! INTERACTIONS WITH YOUR ILLNESS OR OTHER MEDS CAN OCCUR SO DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE AND CHECK (PLUS THEY MAY HAVE A BETTER PRESCRIPTION YOU CAN HAVE…YOU NEVER KNOW :))
- Good ‘ole Pepto Bismal. Bismuth subsalicylate. I’m sorry, but this rarely helps me. I’ve included it here because it does help so many others. There are many generics available.
- Emetrol. Here comes sugar again. This works quite well for me, but honestly I just have one of the sugary drinks or jello listed above and get the same effect.
Undercover Medicines You Might Not Know Help Regular Nausea
Antihistamines do great in the battle with nausea. They are sold as antihistamines for allergies and colds, sleep aids and motion sickness relief.
Antihistamines for allergies or colds. I was surprised to learn that antihistamines are excellent for anti-nausea. They’re not marketed for nausea specifically but are often used for it. Sleepiness is a side effect with some though, unfortunately.
- Benadryl. (Diphenhydramine) is sold as an allergy relief medicine. I think it works fairly well but be prepared for the tiredness.
- Zzzquil, Unisom Sleepgels, etc and many generic labels. The active ingredient in these pills is exactly the same as Benadryl: Diphenhydramine. Just check the package labels. These work, but yep, they make you sleepy (no news there.)
- Unisom sleep tablets. These are different from the above Unisom Sleepgels which are just benadryl in disguise. The active ingredient here is doxylamine. Another antihistamine that I think works very well for nausea. Be sure to check the ingredients for which antihistamine you want. In my opinion, this is the better option. Also, Walmart sells a generic version of Unisom doxylamine tabs at a much cheaper price.
Motion Sickness Meds
- Dramamine. ( Dimenhydrinate) Primarily sold as a motion sickness pill. Does cause drowsiness
- Bonine and Dramamine Less Drowsy (Meclazine) Also for motion sickness. Be aware that it still can make you a little tired.
So there’s some options for you. Seriously, I can tell you that using the food items above has given me greater relief than any of the medicines listed here. I start with a popscicle or jello, then move up to crackers and ginger ale and so on. by then I’m usually ok to eat and the nausea is pretty much gone.
When I have had severe nausea, and the natural remedies didn’t work, the antihistamines helped a little. Even so, I have sometimes had to be hospitalized and given Pheregan (promethazine) through an IV. Wow what a relief. Other people swear by Zofran. But again, these are for severe situations and you have to be on an IV. Strangely enough, I was sent home with a prescription for promethazine and it never worked as well as getting it through an IV. But who wants to be in the hospital??!
I just mention this because I have found that if the nausea kicks in, it is best to try to fix it early...before it goes too far. And by using the simple foods above I can head off getting to the worse state where I need medicine or even the hospital to get it to stop. Of course, everyone is different.
This is my experience and fortunately I have learned a method to keep it under control most of the time. I hope you can find what methods work well for you from this information.
How about you? Do you have any horror stories in dealing with nausea? Or just some great solutions that I have missed here? I would love to hear from you. Share your experience with us!
Here’s to feeling better!!!!!
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