What Causes Nausea When Fasting? Check Out 7 Tips to Get Rid of it!

Fasting these days isn’t only limited to religious attributes, in fact, studies have proved the health benefits of fasting; hence, many people fast for a healthier lifestyle. Controlling your hunger comes with many benefits including weight loss, healthy metabolism, improved cardiovascular health, and enhanced brain functioning but what about its side effects?    

Are you worried about the fact that you always experience nausea when fasting? 

Nausea after fasting is quite common and can be normal initially. However, sometimes your diet and lifestyle can also make you feel nauseous while fasting. Acidity, dehydration, and an unhealthy diet are the most prominent reasons responsible for making you feel bloated. However, you can easily get rid of the feelings of nausea with simple tips at home! 

So, to learn all the tips and tricks about how to cure nausea while fasting, read the whole article! 

During fasting, your stomach experiences an unusual eating pattern where you don’t consume anything solid for long hours. However, the stomach keeps on waiting for the food and releasing HCL which leads to the accumulation of acid. Now, that you’re fasting, the accumulated acid in your stomach can make you feel queasy. 

Is It Normal to Feel Nausea When Fasting?

Fasting in summer might be the toughest task for you as the scorching heat often makes you sick to the stomach and puts you on the verge of throwing up. Be it religious or intermittent fasting, nausea can be caused while doing both. However, the question is, Should you stop fasting if you have nausea? Or is nausea normal when fasting

nausea-when-fasting

Fasting comes up with a wide range of benefits which includes cleaning of the body, weight loss, improvement in cell functioning and metabolism, and even life extension! 

Fasting is usually accompanied by potential benefits but a careless attitude with a wrong approach can lead to some side effects. Hence, the aftereffects of fasting entirely depend on how you do it. 

Nausea is one of the detoxifying symptoms you experience while fasting which means if you feel nauseated, Congratulations! Your body has started cleaning! However, this is just the initial stage of fasting and along with nausea, you might encounter headaches, dizziness, and intense hunger. 

There isn’t a single reason why you feel nauseous while fasting; it could be your stomach acid, your diet, your sleeping position, acid reflux, and a lot more! So, let’s delve into it.  

What Causes Nausea When Fasting?

Your stomach is used to digesting the incoming food particles with the help of some hormones and an acid called hydrochloric acid (HCl). Naturally, the food comes down through the food pipe and is broken down in the stomach and absorbed in the small intestine. 

During fasting, your stomach experiences an unusual eating pattern where you don’t consume anything solid for long hours. However, the stomach keeps on waiting for the food and releasing HCL which leads to the accumulation of acid. Now, that you’re fasting, the accumulated acid in your stomach can make you feel queasy. 

The aforementioned condition is aggravated when you’re already a patient of GERD because an increase in acid increases the symptoms of heartburn. 

causes-of-nausea-when-fasting

When you don’t eat anything all day long, the sugar content in your body decreases leading to hypoglycemia; a condition with low blood sugar. This low sugar is normalized by the body by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system which might lead to nausea. 

During fasting, mostly aged people experience a decrease in their water content in the body thereby leading to dehydration. Loss of fluids and less intake of water is quite common during fasting which might make you dehydrated and lead to nausea under certain conditions. 

Moreover, another reason for nausea while fasting in Ramadan can be due to your diet in suhoor (meal before fasting in Ramadan). If you take a heavy meal such as spicy gravies in the suhoor, your acidity will make you suffer all day long! Hence, if you’re a patient with acid reflux, then take good care of your diet in suhoor and avoid spicy and oily foods

Sometimes, your hormones can also trigger nausea as excessive release of hormones can lead to hunger pangs and an increased acid production eventually leading to nausea. 

How to Avoid Nausea When Fasting?

Fasting is a transition phase when you completely change your eating routine which is why you experience nausea, dizziness, and headache initially. Switching from heavy meals three times a day to healthy and light meals only once or twice a day comes up with loads of health benefits and some aftereffects. 

Sometimes avoiding nausea becomes impossible during fasting; however, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid nausea during prolonged fasting. So, here we’ll share with you tips and tricks telling you how to deal with nausea when fasting?

  • Try avoiding spicy and oily food items before you’re starting your fast because the aforementioned food items are the foremost triggers of acid reflux. Such foods increase the already acidic gastric content thereby leading to the symptoms of heartburn including nausea. In short, avoid every possible trigger that could raise your gastric acid. 
  • You may also try some medications such as antacids to avoid the symptoms of heartburn and nausea. Some of these medicines work by inhibiting the acid-producing pumps of the stomach thereby limiting the gastric acid secretion. 
  • Increasing your water intake may help in reducing nausea if it is caused due to dehydration. Moreover, drinking cold water and drinks can also help you get rid of it after breaking or before starting your fast in Ramadan. You may also add some electrolytes. 
  • When you are feeling nausea when fasting, move out to a well-ventilated area or in an open space because fresh air eases breathing and helps in preventing nausea.
  • Peppermint tea is also a great remedy that provides relief against nausea because it helps in relaxing the muscles of the digestive system. 
  • Try protein-rich food items such as lentils and beans.
  • You must try chewing ginger to avoid feeling nauseated. Ginger is well-known for gastric emptying and it also helps in improving the peristaltic contractions which is why it serves as an agent to prevent nausea. 

Be it intermittent fasting nausea, water fasting nausea or nausea due to fasting in Ramadan, the basic remedies remain the same. If you ever experience nausea while fasting, you better monitor your diet and eliminate all the triggers and harmful agents which are likely to be responsible for it. 

Drink plenty of fluids, use ginger or peppermint tea, avoid spicy and fried food and move into open space while feeling nauseated; all of the aforementioned tips tell you how to combat nausea when fasting. 

FAQs

How do you get rid of nausea from fasting?

If you get nauseated during fasting, then your diet is most probably the reason for your condition. You may get rid of it by increasing your water intake, moving into an open space or a well-ventilated area, avoiding deep-fried and spicy food, trying using ginger and peppermint tea, improving your protein intake, and using antacids to avoid the symptoms of heartburn. 

Why do I feel nauseous and dizzy when fasting?

When you are fasting, your stomach experiences an unusual digestion routine than normal. Previously, it experienced full meals three times a day whereas when fasting, it mostly remains empty. However, the digestive juices including HCl keep on releasing as per normal routine which increases the acidic contents of the stomach thereby leading to nausea.   

Should I stop fasting if I feel sick?

Fasting never does anything bad to your body, in fact, it cleanses and improves your body’s metabolism. If you’re feeling extremely sick, then you should immediately stop fasting be it intermittent fasting, water fasting, or religious fasting. Dizziness, loss of consciousness, extreme dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting are the signs you must consider as a warning for your fast. 

Why do I feel nausea while water fasting?

When you water fast, you eat and drink nothing except water for long hours. However, you can still feel nauseous after water fasting because food is the actual fuel your body needs to function. Hence, lack of food means a lack of energy and you feel tired and queasy. Moreover, if these symptoms worsen over time, then it’s better to discontinue the fast. 

Final Verdict 

When you fast, your stomach faces a sudden transition in your daily routine of digestion. Your digestive system which was used to digest large heavy meals at least three times a day now has to digest light meals. Although you don’t eat anything while fasting, your stomach keeps on producing the gastric acid in your stomach. The accumulation of such acids leads to nausea. 

You have learned how to stop nausea when fasting; try to avoid the food items which serve as triggers for heartburn and nausea such as oily and spicy foods. If you experience a lack of consciousness and extreme dehydration, then you shouldn’t fast till the time you feel better. 

Taking several precautions can help you a lot while fasting. A healthy diet can even help you in getting rid of nausea and other heartburn symptoms. So, eat healthily, avoid the triggers, and enjoy your fasting routine!

Mehrosh Ahmer

Mehrosh Ahmer

My name is Mehrosh Ahmer and I’m currently a student of MBBS at Jinnah Sindh Medical University. My passion for studying the wonder that is the human body and the desire to give back to my society has led me to pursue a career in medicine. As I research, I learn more about my field, and it improves my understanding. This is why I enjoy writing the articles so that more people might get to read about subjects that they otherwise might never encounter.

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