Sunday, February 19, 2012

When the Nausea Creeps In

One of the most unsettling symptoms (literally) of gastroparesis is nausea.  It can be hard to explain why we are fine one moment and then next sick with the stomach spins.  Yesterday, as my husband and I were out running errands, laughing about something on the radio, it hit me like an unforeseen tsunami.  I could only compare it to the feeling of just stepping off the tilt-a-whirl at the amusement park, spinning as though the blood had rushed out of my body.

So, what can we do in these situations?  My best advice is to, one, be prepared with a tummy toolkit, and two, practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Yesterday I popped in a ginger chew and took some slow, deep breaths of the Quease Ease.  Here are some additional tools and information to prevent this feeling from taking over.

1. Helpful tools

Think of it as a first aid kit on the go.  Nausea can be soothed through many our senses such as smelling, tasting, feeling and hearing.  Here are some of my favorites, most of which can be found on the JourneywithGP Store.

Smell - Quease Ease Aromatic Inhaler - Take a few deep breaths of this blend of essential oils for quick relief.  You can also use peppermint oil which also provides relief.
Taste - Ginger - Keep ginger chews or ginger candy with you to help calm the tummy as well as indigestion (my favorites are from The Ginger People).  These would be best for the toolkit, otherwise if available, have some ginger or chamomile & lavender tea.
Feel - Acupressure wrist band - Most people use these when going on a cruise or boat for sea sickness.  The band gently stimulates a point on the wrist known as nei-kuan.  A big fan of acupuncture and previous student, I've found this to be very helpful.  If you don't have the band you can massage the point yourself.  For instructions check out this site.
Hear - Music therapy and guided imagery - Both have been shown to reduce nausea and anxiety.  If its an option, keep a playlist on your phone, music player, or CD with tunes that make you feel calm and relaxed.  A good place to start is one by Dr. Andrew Weil called Sound Body, Sound Mind.  

2. Breathing Techniques 

When nauseous, or in any pain for that matter, its easy to sort of freeze up, focus on the pain and forget what the body naturally wants to do...breathe.  So, I encourage you to make this a habit whenever that unpleasant feeling starts to take over as well as a daily practice.

Alternate Nostril Breathing 
" can improve sleep, encourage a calmer emotional state, boost your thinking power and soothe your nervous system."

Diaphragmatic (Abdominal) Breathing
"...when practiced regularly, lead to the relief or prevention of symptoms commonly associated with stress, which may include...stomach conditions, depression, anxiety, and others."


  1. Excellent tips. The breathing techniques are very helpful too!

  2. Thank you for writing about this :)

  3. Thanks! I read your all information about Journey with Gastroparesis. Please add my website in your blog Anti nausea wristband To solve your nausea in the natural way you can choice our product.Our Anti-Nausea wristbands may be used to relieve nausea symptoms due to chemotherapy cancer treatment, morning sickness, travel/motion sickness and vomiting.

    1. Hi Tarun, I would be happy to do a review on your product! I have something similar and has been helpful for travel and motion sickness.