Posted on July 25 2016
There are many causes of nausea. The flood of hormones in pregnancy, side effects of drugs, as well as rocky boats and bumpy car rides can all lead to nausea and vomiting—things we generally like to avoid. But what is actually going on here?
The scientific community hasn’t made a final ruling on how this all works, but it has some pretty good results. We can likely blame morning sickness on the increased production of hormones during pregnancy. In motion sickness there is a miscommunication between our brain and our eyes. One theory about why excessive motion makes us sick to our is that our brains think we’ve been poisoned.
Throughout most of human evolution there were no boats, cars, trains, or roller coasters. In fact, animals get motion sickness too. But there were plenty of poisonous plants that early humans might have accidentally eaten. Lots of those poisonous plants are toxic to the brain and can make it feel like you’re moving. So sometimes when you’re moving, your brain thinks you’ve been poisoned, and suggests you empty your stomach. We don’t know for sure if this is exactly what’s happening, but there is a lot of evidence to support this theory.
Morning Sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, typically occurs in the first trimester. Increased levels of progesterone, one of the hormones of pregnancy, has been shown to disrupt the normal function of the stomach, leading to nausea. (ncbi) Other hormones may also contribute. While the cause is different, there is the same end result in the stomach as there is in motion sickness—the normal rhythm of the stomach is disrupted.
Nausea is a common side effect of many drugs. Perhaps most notorious is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is thought to result from the chemotherapy drugs directly interacting with the stomach. The drugs tell the stomach to tell the brain that it has been poisoned. In a way, this is an accurate response, because despite the therapeutic benefits, chemotherapy can be quite toxic to the body. Again, when the brain tells the stomach to jettison its contents, the normal rhythm of the stomach is disrupted, leading to nausea and vomiting.
In all these instances, and pretty much all causes of nausea that we know of—the stomach isn’t behaving normally. Anyone with nausea can tell you that their stomach just doesn’t feel right. The stomach is essentially a bag made out of muscle filled with acid. When the stomach is working properly it has a certain rhythm to it—churning, squeezing, and digesting our food. When you get nauseous this rhythm is disrupted, the stomach’s cycling activity increases from its normal rate of three times per minute to as much as ten times per minute. This increase in rhythm results in the feeling of nausea. Other body organs work similarly – take the heart, for example. When healthy, the heart beats at a normal rhythm. When that rhythm is disrupted, it can result in a heart attack. While nausea is almost never as serious as a heart attack, you can think of nausea as a “stomach attack”. the muscles that make up the stomach are not behaving normally. Many factors can cause these stomach spasms, and a few things can help prevent and ease it.
Protein, Vitamin B6, and Ginger: The Trifecta of Nausea Relief
As we’ve seen, many sources of nausea lead to the same physiological result—disruption of the normal rhythm of the stomach. Thankfully, individuals who suffer from any source of nausea have options, There are many anti-nausea drugs on the market, both prescription and over-the-counter. However, none are free from side effects. And if your nausea is a side effect of a drug, you probably don’t want to have to take another drug with more potential side effects.
Yet there are three safe, effective, and natural remedies for nausea—protein, vitamin B6, and ginger. Ginger root is the most well-known natural treatment for nausea. It has been a widely used home remedy for hundreds of years—and clinical trials have found it to be safe and effective. (ncbi) But don’t reach for that ginger ale just yet. Most brands are artificially flavored and contain no real ginger. And the ones that do may not have enough to be . Look for products that are made with real ginger root to ensure effectiveness.
While the effects of ginger work directly on the stomach muscles, protein indirectly acts on the stomach by increasing the release of a hormone called gastrin, which helps the stomach muscles go back to their normal rhythm. Research has shown that consuming a protein-rich meal containing ginger resulted in decreased nausea among patients undergoing chemotherapy. (I have a source for this if it’s needed).
Finally, in addition to protein and ginger, vitamin B6 has been shown in clinical trials to alleviate nausea, particularly that which results from pregnancy. While the mechanism of action is not entirely clear, B6 is naturally-occurring and safe to consume, even for those who are pregnant. It’s also a vital part of a healthy diet and supplement plan for all individuals.Regardless of the source of nausea – whether it be motion sickness, morning sickness, chemotherapy, or other – it is clear that the natural rhythm of the stomach is negatively affected. Consuming natural remedies for nausea, including ginger, protein, and vitamin B6, helps to normalize stomach contractions without the adverse side effects of prescription or over-the-counter medications. No solution is perfect for everyone but there are plenty of options to help people find relief. To find out more about one example of a natural solution, be sure to check out the “About Us” section of www.anchornutri.com.