How Do I Deal with Nausea?
"I wake up feeling nauseated in the morning. It feels just like morning sickness when I was pregnant. Is this normal? What natural options do I have to get through this?"
Nausea is often a symptom of menopause that we don’t talk about as often but some women are more likely to experience this as they move into menopause.
Each woman’s menopause journey is unique. Did you know there are actually 10 different menopause types? Knowing which MenoType you are can help you determine the most effective ways to treat your symptoms. Take the quiz to discover which MenoType you are now.
If you experienced nausea during pregnancy or during PMS you are more likely to experience this again during menopause. So let’s look at a few ways you can help reduce this so you can wake up and get on with your day.
A few natural options to reduce nausea include:
Ginger: This is the most common natural treatment for nausea as ginger has repeatedly
been shown to reduce nausea in many different situations (pregnancy, following chemotherapy, etc). What I love about ginger is that it can be used in a number of different forms and all options seem to be effective, so feel free to play around with the best option for your body.
- Ginger tea: This provides both the aromatherapy benefits as well as the internal, calming effect. You can buy ginger tea or buy fresh ginger, slice up a few pieces and boil it in water.
- Ginger candies: These often taste very spicy so not everyone enjoys them but research has shown that ginger with a bit of sugar can be more effective in stopping nausea than fresh ginger alone. Just don’t eat too many pieces each day as sugar is not a great support for anyone experiencing menopause.
- Ginger capsules: You won’t get the aromatherapy effect with this but capsules allow you to get a higher dose of ginger so this is a reasonable option for you if you prefer capsules to tea or fresh ginger. Just remember that in higher doses ginger can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, which are both very protective and help to support long-term health. But if you notice you feel lightheaded, talk to your healthcare provider as the ginger may be lowering your blood sugar levels or blood pressure a bit too much.
- Peppermint essential oil: Aromatherapy is a powerful tool to help treat nausea and peppermint oil has been shown to directly lower the level of nausea in patients and in some studies it has been able to reduce nausea in 44-57% of people. Having peppermint oil in a diffuser around your home can be a great gentle support but for your morning nausea putting a few drops on a cloth or in an inhaler and using it for 2 minutes will likely be more quick and effective.
- Hydration: Making sure you are drinking enough water every day is a really important part of treating nausea as dehydration can worsen nausea. So make sure you are drinking 7-10 glasses of water throughout the day and start your day off with a glass of water.
It’s also important to note that fatigue can worsen nausea so if you have noticed that your sleep has worsened since menopause began, or that your overall level of energy has dropped consider some support for this as well:
- Melatonin: If sleep is compromising your energy levels throughout the day then it’s important to consider addressing this directly. Melatonin is a common natural treatment for insomnia but did you know that it’s been researched specifically for insomnia in menopause as well? Not only can melatonin improve sleep but it also helps to reduce hot flashes! Melatonin is both safe, and because of its ability to regulate all our hormonal levels it has a wonderful balancing effect on the body as you support your menopausal symptoms.
- Valerian: If you have noticed that your sleep is not as restful as it was before menopause, this herb is another great option. Not only does it help with insomnia, but it has also been shown to reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Note that it can take about 4 weeks to see the full effect and as this is a calming herb, and because of it’s sedating effect, this is best to take it at night.
- Maca: This is a great support for helping women maintain energy during menopause. Maca has been shown to improve overall quality of life in menopausal women as it not only helps to support mood and energy, but it can also help with low libido. The gentle, supportive nature of maca makes it a fantastic herb to help you transition through menopause smoothly.
Nausea can become debilitating and the individualization of this kind of support can sometimes mean it takes a few tries to find a combination that works best for your body. However, knowing what options are available to you is a big step in the right direction.
In support of your health, Dr. Clarence, ND
DR. HAYHLEE CLARENCE ND
Dr. Clarence has a Doctorate of Naturopathy degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a strong advocate for conventional care, recognizing that when possible, naturopathic medicine functions best alongside medical treatment.