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Digestive Health

menopause and nausea

By | Fact Checked By Andrea Donsky |

Feeling a little queasy in the morning and you don’t know why? If you know you’re not pregnant, then what could it be? For some women, perimenopause and menopause are accompanied by nausea.

What is nausea?

Nausea is abdominal discomfort that often occurs before vomiting. The discomfort may feel like heaviness or tightness and may be accompanied by dizziness. Nausea can be caused by dozens of factors, including motion, an underlying infection or disease, trauma, food or beverages, or psychological issues.

How is nausea associated with menopause?

Perimenopause and menopause are characterized by dozens of symptoms, and nausea can be associated with some of them. Menopausal symptoms that may be accompanied by nausea include hot flashes, headache or migraine, fatigue, chills, and heart palpitations. 

The nausea experienced by women during menopausal years may be linked to the symptoms, hormonal changes (dramatic drop in estrogen levels), or specific treatments, especially hormone replacement therapy, which can be accompanied by headache, bloating, bleeding, mood changes, and tender breasts. Therefore, you see how menopause and nausea can be a complicated situation! Working to relieve other possible associated symptoms may help bring overall relief.

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Read about curbing nausea during pregnancy

How do you manage nausea during menopause naturally?

We are fortunate there are several effective ways to manage nausea during menopause without medication. Let’s explore them here.

  • Food changes. Certain foods and beverages can trigger nausea, so it’s best to avoid them or at least significantly reduce your intake.

These include alcohol, fatty, processed, and/or spicy foods and caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks).

  • Phytoestrogen-rich foods. These foods can provide relief of menopausal symptoms that may be involved in nausea. Include apples, lentils carrots, soybeans and soy foods, barley, berries, wheat, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds in your daily diet.
  • Controlled breathing. Practicing slow, deep breathing may help to relieve feelings of nausea. Such breathing, along with mindfulness meditation, may bring relief from other menopausal symptoms as well.
  • Ginger. This herb is well-known for helping with nausea during pregnancy and associated with motion sickness. Try drinking ginger tea, adding fresh grated ginger to some fruit, or stirring powdered ginger into a smoothie.

Read about aloe, ginger, and peppermint digestive fixer

  • Peppermint. Research has shown that peppermint oil, tea, and capsules can help reduce nausea caused by chemotherapy. A cup of peppermint tea may help relieve this symptom.
  • Lemon. Both drinking and inhaling lemon may help with nausea. In a 2014 study, women who inhaled lemon essential oil experienced a reduction in nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. You may also get some relief by adding lemon to your water.
  • Cinnamon. A study of female students found that cinnamon was helpful in reducing nausea and other symptoms related to menstruation. The severity of nausea decreased significantly when compared with placebo. In this study, a 420-mg capsule of cinnamon was used.

when to see your doctor

If you experience nausea that is interfering with your daily activities or lifestyle or if it is chronic, then you should contact your healthcare provider. Keep notes on when you are nauseous, such as what you were eating, your activities, your emotional state, and anything you took to help relieve it.

bottom line

Nausea may occur during perimenopause and menopause, and it may be associated with other menopausal symptoms. Therefore, addressing other symptoms as well as trying natural anti-nausea remedies may provide relief.

  • Cheney K. Can menopause cause nausea? Healthline 2021 May 3
  • Jaafarpour M et al. The effect of cinnamon on menstrual bleeding and systemic symptoms with primary dysmenorrhea. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 2015 Apr; 17(4): e27032
  • Tayarani-Najaran Z et al. Antiemetic activity of volatile oil from Mentha sicata and Mentha x piperita in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Ecancermedicalscience 2013 Jan 31; 7:290
  • Yavari kia P et al. The effect of lemon inhalation aromatherapy on nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a double-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 2014; 16(3):e14360
Andrea is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & Menopause Expert. Andrea is in menopause & has been researching for the last 5 years science-based ingredients and methods to help women manage their symptoms. She’s the Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a multiple award-winning website. Andrea co-authored the book “Unjunk Your Junk Food” published by Simon and Schuster, as well as “Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart,” and “Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.” Andrea co-hosts the Morphus for Menopause podcast and appears as a Healthy Living Expert on TV across North America. Andrea has more than 20 years of experience in the health & wellness space and is a multiple award-winning Influencer.