6 Common Causes Of Chronic Nausea

Most people know the unsettling and bothersome feeling of nausea. The onset of nausea can be due to temporary reasons such as driving in a car, flying on an airplane, or sicknesses like food poisoning, but in some cases, it can be chronic. Chronic nausea can occur with or without vomiting and is often associated with diseases and disorders affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Depending on the cause, other symptoms may occur, such as diarrhea and general malaise.

Causes Of Chronic Nausea

Although nausea isn’t considered a condition in itself, it can be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as GERD or peptic ulcers. At Birmingham Gastroenterology, we want to ensure you get the proper care for diseases, disorders, and conditions disrupting your digestive tract. Here are six common causes of chronic nausea.

1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease is a term to describe several conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms of IBD may include diarrhea, blood in the stool, weight loss, anemia, and nausea. Many people with Crohn’s disease specifically may experience chronic nausea and vomiting after eating. A colonoscopy is usually required to make a diagnosis. Treatments vary but typically require long-term medication.

2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

According to About IBS, between 25 and 45 million people in the United States are affected by irritable bowel syndrome. This syndrome is described as a non-inflammatory intestinal disorder that can cause a whole host of symptoms, including chronic nausea. In fact, 38% of women and 27% of men with IBS report chronic nausea as one of their main symptoms. The exact cause of IBS is unknown but is thought to be due to muscle contractions in the intestine.  

3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD is a common gastrointestinal condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach. This digestive disorder affects about 20% of people in the United States. Nausea is a main symptom of GERD, as stomach acid in the esophagus can lead to coughing, burping, and general esophageal discomfort. 

4. Peptic Ulcers

A peptic ulcer occurs when an open sore develops on the internal lining of your stomach. The most common symptom associated with peptic ulcers is a sharp pain in the stomach area, but it can also lead to feeling full or bloated, unexplained weight loss, recurrent belching, and indigestion. Ulcers can cause an inflammatory response in the stomach leading to stomach contractions, resulting in chronic nausea and in some cases vomiting.

5. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. There are several different causes, such as gallstones, excessive alcohol use, various medications, hypertriglyceridemia, and autoimmune diseases. Pancreatitis causes chronic nausea due to the body not being able to properly break down food. Other symptoms may include fever, a fast heartbeat, or a swollen and tender abdomen. 

6. Intestinal Obstruction

According to MedlinePlus, an intestinal obstruction occurs when food or stool cannot properly move through the intestines. An obstruction can be complete or partial and can cause symptoms such as bloating, swelling of the abdomen, constipation, severe cramping, and nausea or vomiting. An intestinal obstruction can cause the contents of the stomach to move back up in the stomach, leading to chronic nausea. Complete intestinal obstruction is considered a medical emergency that often requires surgery. 

Chronic nausea hinders your ability to perform your day-to-day activities, but Birmingham Gastroenterology can help. We have decades of experience treating diseases and disorders in all parts of the digestive system. To make an appointment to discuss your symptoms and treatment options, or to ask questions about chronic nausea, call us at (205) 271-8000.

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