5 Home Remedies for Nausea

Some People With IBD Experience Nausea Along With Their Other Symptoms

Most people experience nausea from time to time. Sometimes nausea is part of an underlying illness, such as a virus, but it is typically short-lived. For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), nausea may occur along with other signs and symptoms of the disease. such as a reduced appetite and pain or abdominal cramping.

Nausea that comes and goes can make life difficult, but there are some things that can be done at home to manage it.

If nausea is severe or accompanied by extreme pain and diarrhea, check in with a doctor, because these are also potential signs of an intestinal blockage. Blockages are more common in people with Crohn's disease, especially in those who have had abdominal surgery, and may require treatment.



Ginger on a plate
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It's fairly well known that ginger can help with an upset stomach, and many people drink ginger ale for that reason. It's important to note, however, that artificial ginger is not going to have the same results — make sure that ginger products contain actual ginger in them. In addition, if vomiting is a problem and food or drinks are not staying down, ginger might not be helpful in settling the stomach.

Of course, any time you use a complementary therapy for your IBD, it should be brought up with your physician. Ginger shouldn't be used after surgery, or at the same time as blood thinners or NSAIDs, because it can increase the potential for bleeding. Ginger also should not be used at the same time as cyclosporine, which is an antibiotic that may be used to treat infections or certain complications of IBD.


Cold Compress or Cold Air

Man applying cool compress to forehead
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If at all possible, move a cool room, or even outside if there is cooler air or moving air. Taking some deep breaths of cool air can be helpful in keeping the nausea at bay (use the breathing exercises below). Applied to the forehead or the back of the neck, a cold compress can make the nausea feel less severe. A cold compress can be a simple as a washcloth rinsed in cold water and wrung out, to a store bought or homemade compress that can be kept in the freezer so that it's ready at a moment's notice.​​ 


Conscious Breathing

Man breathing in

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Slowing down and concentrating on just breathing in and out can help you to focus on getting nausea under control. Stopping any movement and just relaxing for a few minutes could help in avoiding a vomiting episode. There are many ways to practice deep breathing, and it could even be tied in with meditation.​ 



Meditating woman

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Meditation can be helpful in a variety of situations, including nausea. It's a good idea for people with IBD to work on having a meditation routine, even when feeling well.

When meditation becomes second nature, it can be helpful to use various techniques for dealing with anxiety, pain, or stress. Meditation can take many forms, so if you don't have success at first, try another method.


Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium Bicarbonate

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More commonly known as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate has a number of household uses besides baking, including as a treatment for nausea. A drink for nausea can be made by dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 4 ounces of water. Baking soda may help with nausea by changing the pH of the acids in the stomach.

Two caveats: check with your doctor to ensure that this remedy won't interfere with your treatment regimen, and because baking soda is high in sodium, people on a low-sodium diet should probably not use it. It should not be used long-term to treat nausea or an upset stomach, but only as a temporary measure.​ 

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Article Sources

  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "Ginger." Sloan-Kettering Institute. 25 Sep 2013.
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine."Ginger." National Institutes of Health. Apr 2012.
  • Natural Standard Research Collaboration. "Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe)." Natural Standard. 25 Jun 2013.