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Sometimes, we wake up late and miss our breakfast. It would be hours since our last meal. This hunger sometimes causes a feeling of nausea. But why? Why Nausea on empty stomach is actually caused? 

Although many people have experienced it, this is something that is difficult to understand. Your body would find food less appealing at the time you need it most. Nausea in the morning can be one of the worst experiences. It is an uneasiness that you may feel.

Maybe you ate something bad or drank too much, or else you may have anxiety. There are more reasons to experience nausea on empty stomach and if you can find the cause you can find out how to cure it. 

What is nausea? 

At some point in your life, the odds are pretty high and you would experience feeling nauseous. It is an uneasy sensation in the stomach that often comes with the urge to vomit. Without vomiting, you would have nausea. So you might feel like it is going to happen. 

Anyone can experience nausea, and it is more common under certain circumstances. When someone undergoes chemotherapy or is pregnant, it is important to understand that nausea itself is not a disease or health condition. Instead, it is a potential sign of a disease, condition, or another physical state. 

Feeling nausea on empty stomach

Nausea on empty stomach

Nausea in the morning or nausea on empty stomach can happen to anybody. Several normal bodily processes can lead to nausea, especially in the morning. The stomach starts to do the digestion process by squeezing your food and adding acid to help it break down. 

When the stomach squeezes, its contents can go up instead of down. This can be worse due to acid that has built up in the stomach overnight in the morning. This causes nausea and sometimes vomiting. It can also be due to undigested food that is still in the stomach from the last meal and this can be worse in the morning. 

The natural rise and fall of the hormones can also trigger nausea. Cortisol, which is the stress hormone is at its highest level in the morning. This can cause nausea for some people. Nausea is the way of telling you something in your body that it doesn’t feel quite right. Nausea in the morning is temporary and not a major cause for concern.

Symptoms of nausea

This can be a little hard to explain. But you might feel your stomach just doesn’t feel right. 

You will have a strange feeling in the chest, upper abdomen, or back of the throat, discomfort in the stomach, lack of appetite, sweating, and feeling like you’re about to vomit or actually vomit. 

Sometimes you will feel uncontrollable contracting respiratory and abdominal muscles or excessive saliva. 

Causes of nausea on empty stomach

Nausea in the morning

Here are some of the more common causes of morning nausea.


Fatigue comes as a result of poor sleep and insomnia, and it is the most common cause of nausea in the morning. When you do not wake up naturally but your deep sleep is interrupted by something, this is especially true. This unhealthy sleep cycle may leave you nauseous in the morning.

High or low blood sugar 

Nausea on empty stomach is more common in people with high or low blood sugar. Because they are more likely to be in the morning. If their nighttime insulin dose is too high when low blood sugar can happen. 

High blood sugar can happen if the insulin dose is too low or wears off while the body is still digesting food. It also leads to dizziness. Due to the long gap between dinner and breakfast, this usually happens. Skipping breakfast can make this condition worse.


Anxiety is a mental condition that can make you feel a variety of emotions. It can also lead to nausea and make it worse. But even people without these conditions can experience nausea in the morning when something in the upcoming day is causing a feeling of stress or dread.

Acid Reflux

 Acid reflux does not always cause classic heartburn symptoms, but can also cause nausea. Heartburn or acid reflux can lead to several discomforts including nausea. This is especially common in the morning because the acid can build up overnight. It is better if you can lift dinner a few hours before bed can help you prevent acid reflux at night. 

Headache or migraine

headache causes nausea

Headaches can lead to nausea. Migraine is a severe form of headache that can also be a possible cause of nausea on empty stomach. If this happens too often, it is better to talk to your doctor to fight the cause of the headache. 


If you do not drink enough water, it can lead to nausea. When the body needs food or water, it does not always send typical hunger or thirst cues, but it can reveal thoughts causing nausea. Dehydration leads to several other health issues. Dizziness, exhaustion, and dark urine are a few. Not drinking water at night for longer periods can make you feel nausea on empty stomach in the morning. 

Substance use

Many people are familiar with the way a hangover from alcohol can cause nausea. Withdrawal symptoms from any substance including caffeine can cause nausea. 


Morning sickness is very common in pregnancy. 

Hunger or eating too quickly

If you have gone several hours without eating, your blood sugar can get too low. Even if you have eaten mostly carbs like cookies or plain bagels, it can leave you dizzy or nauseous with a sensation like you are going to pass out.

Or else, when you suddenly ate a large amount of food, it is possible to feel nauseous. Eat something that is high in carbs like a glass of fruit juice, dried fruit, or bread. If you get sugar into your system, it will bring your blood sugar back up to normal, and will start to feel better. Try home remedies like over-the-counter stomach-upset medications. 

Steer clear of foods that are high in fat or protein as they won’t raise your blood sugar and can actually slow the absorption of carbs.

Is morning nausea different from morning sickness? 

Morning sickness refers to nausea from pregnancy-related changes in the body and about 75% of pregnant women experience nausea at some point during pregnancy. This is due to high levels of hormones and slower digestion and morning sickness usually resolves on its own after the first few months. 

To manage morning sickness people do things differently like avoiding strong smells and having a small snack first thing in the morning. Some develop bad morning sickness that they actually lose weight which is called hyperemesis gravidarum. 

How to treat nausea on empty stomach? 

Nausea is not a cause for concern, most of the time. But there are actions you can take to minimize the unpleasant feeling.

Change in daily habits

Once you wake up, try to have a bite of food even if you do not like it. Keep a glass of water by your bed and stay hydrated by drinking it. 

When it is close to bedtime, try not to eat a big meal because the food needs time to digest before lying down.  Especially fatty meals tend to take a long time to digest so it may help to limit fat in late meals or snacks. 

Avoid alcohol especially right before bed and stick to a regular sleep schedule and consider trying out some habits that can help to improve sleep hygiene


stay hydrated to prevent nausea

Nausea would upset the stomach and so eating food may make things worse temporarily.  But if you have a diet with clear liquids it can provide nutrients along with sugar and salt that your body needs until you eat food that is solid. 

The reason for consuming clear liquids is that they are easy to digest and will not put extra strain on the stomach or intestines.  When you feel nauseous,  it is better to consume clear juices, coffee or tea without milk,  clear sports drinks, clear broth, and plain popsicles. As well as you can drink some water. 

Better to avoid dairy products, alcoholic beverages, smoothies, and vegetable juice. 

But if your nausea causes frequent vomiting, doctors may give you oral rehydration therapy that involves drinking a rehydration solution that replaces the minerals and body fluids that you have lost. 

Nausea home remedies

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea contains a range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  It can be used for a variety of ailments.  Peppermint tea is known for its traditional use to reduce nausea by soothing your stomach and in oil form and aroma therapy, it has been studied as a nausea remedy, especially among pregnant people.

First, you need to steep one teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water and after 10 minutes you can strain it.  When you find it to be at a safe temperature to drink you can slowly sip the infusion and let the benefits take effect. 


One of the widely used herbs for medicinal properties is Ginger.  Especially it is useful to cure nausea.  It is considered a safe and effective treatment those some people who report heartburn or reflex when taking it.  It also helps with digestion and the flow of saliva.

You can find fresh ginger at your grocery store or can buy ginger supplements. It can be consumed by using in cooking or eaten on its own. It can also be consumed by adding it to the tea and will feel better. 


Nausea can make it feel worse when there is a lack of protein. So it is better to take protein-packed foods like nuts, and peanut butter as long as you’re not allergic.  These are easy to digest and will quickly replenish your depleted energy and will help keep your nausea at bay. 

If you have nausea from excessive hunger, pregnancy, or low blood sugar it will respond well to the protein and fat in nuts.  But be careful, if you are fighting off a virus nuts and proteins can worsen it.  When you are struggling with nausea a low-fat, lower-protein meal that is rich in starchy foods is the best solution. 

Sit upright

If you keep the body upright, it can support digestion and may help nausea to pass.

Control breathing

control breathing to avoid nauseous feeling

If you take deep breaths at a slow and steady pace, it can help to ease feelings of nausea. It may help to engage in mindfulness meditation, which focuses on controlled breathing techniques.

Chicken broth

Fat that delays the emptying of the stomach should be avoided.  Instead, try soothing your symptoms with chicken broth, which is lower in fat.  The broth that is made from bouillon cubes may be your best bet because it’s easy to prepare and less likely to spoil.  It may also help to promote hydration which is important when you may be dehydrated. 

How to prevent nausea?

A few things can be done to try to keep nausea from surfacing at all. 

Try to eat small meals during the day instead of three large Meals.  Especially try to eat slowly and not fast.  Avoid hard-to-digest foods as they can cause nausea. 

One of the tips is to eat foods that are cold or at room temperature to avoid feeling nausea on empty stomach.  After eating take some rest.

If you find nausea an issue in the morning, you can eat crackers before you get out of bed or have a high-protein snack like cheese before you go to bed.  More importantly, drink liquids between males instead of drinking them during meals. 

If you are prone to nausea,  try to avoid certain triggers like food and cooking smells, smokey, stuffy rooms, perfumes, flickering lights, driving, heat, and humidity

When to See a Doctor?

Nausea is often not a serious issue.  But if your vomiting last for more than 2 days for adults and more than 24 hours for children, and more than 12 hours for infants it is better to reach out to your doctor. Schedule an appointment if you have dealt with bouts of nausea for more than a month experiencing unexplained weight loss in addition to nausea or vomiting.

Make sure to stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and eat bland Foods while you wait to speak with your doctor. Also, make sure to keep a track of your symptoms and watch for any signs of dehydration.

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