Why am I nauseous after I eat?

In this brief article we will answer the query,”Why am I nauseous after I eat?” We will also discuss some key causes of feeling nauseous after consuming a meal which range from hormonal changes during pregnancy to gastrointestinal problems.

Why am I nauseous after I eat?

If you tend to feel nauseous after you eat food, it may be as a result of a number of conditions which may be mild or severe and can range from hormonal changes to food intolerances or allergies. Let’s delve into some of those reasons.

What are the causes of feeling nauseous after eating?

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes can be as a result of pregnancy and they usually induce a feeling of being nauseous at different times of the day, particularly in the morning.

Some women that are pregnant usually experience nausea before eating food. For others, they feel nauseated after having a meal and this could go on throughout the day.

These feelings mostly commence during the 2nd month of being pregnant and they are not detrimental to the mother as well as the health of the baby. In the 4th month of pregnancy the feelings usually tend to go away.

The increase in the hormone levels during pregnancy ab result in changes to the digestive system and the body and result in food staying for longer in the gut and small intestine. This is one of the reasons that could possibly be leading to nausea in pregnancy.

The hormones can as well lead to a relaxation of the connection between the stomach and the esophagus resulting in an increase in acid reflux which leads to nausea. During pregnancy, most women also tend to have a heightened sense of smell which exacerbates nausea.

Food Infections

Consumption of contaminated food can also be a cause of feeling nausea after eating. Food can be contaminated through various means such as improper storage or being undercooked. Eating such food can potentially lead to food poisoning.

Most food poisoning cases are caused by bacteria and in some cases viruses. These microbes can both induce feelings of nausea within hours of eating.

Viral infections of the gut such as stomach flu can as well result in nausea after eating. These viruses are usually transmitted through:

  • Coming in contact with people who already infected
  • Consumption of contaminated foods or water

Some other symptoms of these virus infections include:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Vomiting

Food allergies or Food intolerances

Food intolerances can cause nausea hours after consumption of foods. Some common foods that cause intolerances are:

  • Foods that have lactose, for example dairy products
  • Gluten such as in grains
  • Foods that lead to intestinal gas, for example beans

Food allergies on the other hand also occur as a result of the body mistakenly identifying protein as a threat and triggering the immune system to attack. Nausea can as a result happen in minutes after consuming such food.

Food allergies can as well have some other symptoms such as hives, itching in the mouth, swelling of the face, mouth or throat, red rash and trouble breathing (wheezing). These reactions require immediate medical attention.

Gastrointestinal problems

Nausea after eating might also be a sign of gastrointestinal problems which occur when a digestive organ is not working according to its function.

For instance, gastroesophageal disease (GERD) is usually as a result of the malfunction of the ring muscle between the esophagus and stomach, this causes stomach acid to leak into the esophagus.

It causes a burning sensation in the esophagus also known as a heartburn and can also be a contributor to nausea after consuming a meal.

The gallbladder functions sto release bile which assists in the digestion of fats. Gallbladder diseases also result in the proper digestion of fats and can lead to nausea after consuming meals that are high in fats.

If the pancreas also gets injured or inflamed which might be as a result of a number of factors leading to pancreatitis, it can also bring about nausea together with other symptoms. This is because the pancreas releases proteins and hormones which assist in digestion.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another condition that can result in nausea. IBS is a common disorder  that can lead to symptoms such as bloating and increased gas. It also results in nausea in some people after eating.

You can learn more about the causes of nausea after eating and their management here.


In this brief article we have answered the query,”Why am I nauseous after I eat?” We have also discussed some key causes of feeling nauseous after consuming a meal which range from hormonal changes during pregnancy to gastrointestinal problems.



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