Why Do I Feel Nauseous When I Have A Headache?

Migraines and severe headaches often go hand in hand with nausea and other stomach problems. In fact, 8 in 10 people suffering from migraines in the US say they experience nausea as a secondary symptom.

So related, in fact, that migraines are more likely to cause nausea than any other type of headache. Meanwhile, five of every ten will encounter vomiting with their migraines as well. Although doctors have not yet worked out exactly how the two are related. Scientists do not know why the two appear so frequently together. The most widely accepted explanation is that serotonin plays a part. The neurotransmitter serotonin is associated with nausea as well as motion sickness. Migraines are thought to be caused when blood vessels in the brain enlarge, a condition that can be caused, among other reasons, by a drop in serotonin levels in the blood.

A migraine is most likely to make you feel nauseated, but other types of headaches can also cause an upset stomach. Here we look into why these symptoms occur and what you can do to ease the pain.

Why Are Migraine And Nausea Linked?

It is not entirely clear why people suffer from nausea alongside a migraine. Common thoughts among medical professionals suggest that during a migraine, sufferers are likely to experience a rapid serotonin drop. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to feelings of nausea, motion sickness and dizziness, so this could be one reason why.

Women and those susceptible to motion sickness are more likely to feel nauseated during a migraine attack. Changes in estrogen levels are also thought to play a key role in these symptoms which would explain why more women than men suffer from headaches and migraine.

How To Ease Nausea And Migraine Symptoms

There are a number of migraine and anti-nausea medications available that are FDA approved and highly effective. It is important, however, that these medications are prescribed by a qualified physician and that any other medical conditions are ruled out.

Very often, motion can cause the symptoms of a migraine with nausea to get worse. Laying down in a cool and dark room and making the least amount of movement can help to ease symptoms. Keeping hydrated and drinking peppermint tea can also be beneficial.

It is important to see a doctor, especially if you are experiencing a migraine and nausea together for the first time. There are other illnesses that can bring on the two, including the flu, cyclic vomiting syndrome, vertigo and meningitis. As you may know, meningitis is a dangerous inflammation of membranes around the spine and brain.

Expert Diagnosis And Treatment Is A Phone Call Away

The doctors and staff at the National Headache Institute can provide a variety of therapies to combat migraines and accompanying nausea. Medicinal treatments can combine both pain medications alongside anti-nausea medications. Other treatments may include lifestyle changes to decrease the possibility of onset.

Excessive stress is often a trigger for migraines. A focus on reducing stress can go a long way in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. High stress is actually known to lead to physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms and is in everyone’s interest to address. Cigarette smoking is another factor in compromised health and contributes to the chance of onset in migraine patients. Any foods that can trigger a migraine, like chocolate or alcohol, should be avoided. Some migraine sufferers experience nausea specifically when they are moving. For them a routine of laying in a quiet and dark room when a migraine comes can prevent the nausea.

Migraine accompanied by nausea can be debilitating and frequently, excruciatingly painful. At The National Headache Institute we treat every case on an individual basis and offer one on one diagnosis and treatment that will help you to understand your body, recognize the onset of symptoms and take the necessary action or treatment to stop an attack in its tracks.

There are many types of migraine associated with nausea:

    • Migraine with or without aura
    • Benign paroxysmal vertigo
    • Cyclic vomiting syndrome
    • Abdominal migraine

We offer a range of treatments that are designed to diagnose, prevent and treat these migraine symptoms as well as alleviate any stomach upsets and nausea you may experience. Visit us at The National Headache Institute today for fast and effective relief. Call us or use our contact form to book a consultation.