Endometriosis and Nausea: Is It Normal and What Helps? – Healthline

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium, grows outside of your uterus. Its estimated to impact 10 to 15 percent of women of reproductive age.

Pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. You might experience it in a variety of ways, including:

Its also common for endometriosis to cause a variety of digestive symptoms. One of these is nausea. If you have endometriosis, you may notice that nausea is particularly common during your period or after eating.

Continue reading to learn more about the link between nausea and endometriosis, what you can do about it, and when to contact a doctor.

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in people with endometriosis. In fact, some research has found that GI symptoms are almost as common as gynecological symptoms, with 90 percent of study participants reporting some type of GI symptom.

Medical experts are not sure exactly how endometriosis may lead to nausea. But understanding whats happening in your body due to endometriosis can provide some important insight.

With endometriosis, your endometrium grows where its not supposed to in your body. This can cause a variety of problems in your body like inflammation and the formation of scar tissue, particularly adhesions.

The location of endometriosis lesions may also impact your symptoms. For example, one 2015 study found that endometriosis lesions on or near a persons bowel were associated with nausea and vomiting.

But GI symptoms can happen even if endometriosis does not directly affect your bowel. A 2009 study found that only 7.5 percent of participants with GI symptoms had bowel endometriosis.

If you have endometriosis and nausea, you may notice that your nausea gets worse during your period. There are several reasons for this.

First, endometriosis lesions still behave in the same way as your uterine lining. This means that during your period, these lesions can swell and bleed as well.

But unlike your uterine lining, tissue from endometriosis lesions cannot leave your body during your period. This can cause pain and discomfort. If endometriosis lesions are close to your GI tract, they can also contribute to nausea or vomiting.

Increased levels of prostaglandins during your period can play a role as well. Prostaglandins are compounds made of fats that have hormone-like effects in your body. They can cause your uterus to contract (tighten) in order to get rid of the thickened uterine lining.

These contractions can cause painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), which are often severe in people with endometriosis.

Discomfort from dysmenorrhea can contribute to feelings of nausea. High levels of prostaglandins can enter your bloodstream, which can also lead to nausea.

If you have endometriosis, you may also experience increased nausea after eating. There are a couple of reasons why this may happen.

Endometriosis is associated with other digestive symptoms, particularly bloating. Bloating can happen after a meal as your body works to digest food. This can cause feelings of discomfort or pain. Intense pain can sometimes lead to nausea.

Additionally, endometriosis lesions on your bowel may cause obstruction of your GI tract. This can potentially lead to GI symptoms like nausea. But bowel endometriosis is relatively rare, affecting 5 to 12 percent of people with endometriosis.

In general, you can treat nausea due to endometriosis in the same way as other causes of nausea. You may want to try some of the tips below to ease your nausea:

Medical professionals often suggest medications to prevent or reduce the symptoms of endometriosis. Taking your endometriosis medications as your doctor directed may help to ease feelings of nausea.

Examples of endometriosis medications include:

In addition to medications, there are also some lifestyle-related changes you can make that may help prevent nausea.

Healthcare experts are still researching how exactly your diet impacts endometriosis risk and progression. But its possible that some foods may influence this condition.

A 2021 study surveyed 484 women with endometriosis about their symptom management strategies. It found that 44 percent of respondents used dietary changes to help with their symptoms, with 15 percent reporting an improvement in nausea and vomiting.

Adding or eliminating certain foods from your diet may help reduce some endometriosis symptoms. Examples of foods to add to your diet include:

The types of foods you may want to cut back on include:

Modifying your eating habits may also help prevent nausea. Some examples of how to do this include:

Your posture and clothing may also influence your nausea symptoms.

If you often feel bloated or nauseous after eating, avoid doing things that strain or place pressure on your abdomen. For example, try not to lie down, bend over, or perform strenuous activities shortly after eating.

Also, avoid wearing clothing that fits too tightly against your waist or abdomen. Instead, try to wear looser fitting garments that do not cut into you.

If you have endometriosis and nausea, consider making an appointment with your doctor if you have:

If youre taking medications for endometriosis, but theyre not helping to alleviate your symptoms, talk with your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to another medication.

Endometriosis can lead to GI symptoms like nausea. If you have endometriosis, you may notice that nausea gets worse during your period or after eating.

You may be able to prevent or ease nausea symptoms by taking your endometriosis medications as directed and by implementing lifestyle changes. This can include making changes to your diet and adjusting your eating habits.

You can treat nausea at home by taking anti-nausea medications, eating bland foods, and staying hydrated. Be sure to follow up with your doctor if your nausea is frequent or ongoing, happens with severe pain, or affects your ability to get proper nutrition.

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Endometriosis and Nausea: Is It Normal and What Helps? - Healthline

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