I’m Hungry And Nauseous At The Same Time – What’s Going On?

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Hunger can lead to nausea as a result of acidic reflux. While eating might help you get over this, there are times when you’d face a loss of appetite along with nausea. Then it would be best if you primarily focused on relieving your nausea first. The most common remedy is ginger or dry foods. However, if your nausea reaches the extent where it just won’t go down, it might be time to consult your doctor.

Hunger is the most common feeling common to us all. But what is that weird nauseating sensation you get when you become starving? Hunger and nausea are interconnected in most cases, but there are instances where it could be an underlying disease as well.

How can you feel hunger and nausea at the same time? What kind of mysterious connection do they both have? Can being hungry lead to nausea? Would eating help fix this? If so, what kind of food is best to eat? Should you seek medical attention? What should you do if even the thought of eating makes you nauseous?

How are hunger and nausea connected?

Hunger and nausea are related in a very simple way. Too much hunger can lead to nausea.

Our stomachs release hydrochloric acid to help break down all the food that we eat. It then converts this food into energy. So, if you don’t eat for a long time, this hydrochloric acid will stack up in your stomach. This acid will, with time, get pushed up your esophagus and cause acid reflux, heartburn, and even nausea.

A young woman whose really hungry just opened her fridge and is eating whatever she finds directly out of it.

You may have noticed yourself letting out gassy burps when you’re hungry. Or even gone to the extent of vomiting after intense nausea. Acid reflux is the most probable cause.

What if it’s not just the hunger that is the cause of your nausea?

Are there any other reasons that you might be getting that nauseous feeling when you’re hungry?

You must distinguish between the two because only then can you can take the proper steps to treat your symptoms.

Likely causes of nauseaUnlikely causes of nausea
Medications – If you have popped some pills on an empty stomach, this too could be the reason for your nausea. 

study in 2016 shows that prescription pills such as antibiotics, beta-blockers, diuretics, and some chemotherapy drugs have nausea as a side effect. 
It is also important that you always ask whether you can take the medication with food or an empty stomach since small errors can lead to a whirlwind of discomfort. 

Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and iron can also cause nausea. 
Motion-sickness – This is probable when you are traveling a long distance, especially on a winding road. This includes other symptoms like cold sweat and dizziness.  
Dehydration – even the mildest forms of dehydration can cause a strong sense of nausea. 
If you are also experiencing slight dizziness or light-headedness, this could be the more probable cause of your nausea.

The best way to avoid this risk would be to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. The Mayo Clinic advises the average male to drink at least 15.5 cups of water per day, while females are advised to drink 11.5 cups per day. 
Early-Pregnancy – Pregnancy in about its fourth week is said to have the possibility of causing nausea.

If you’re a female that hasn’t had any sexual interaction recently, this probably isn’t a common reason.
Stress – If you’re under a lot of pressure at the moment, missing meals might not be the only reason for you feeling this way.

Of course, in this case, you would also be facing symptoms such as headaches, mental exhaustion, and loss of appetite.  
Food poisoning – This could also cause nausea apart from hunger, and its symptoms may vary based on the source of infection.
Probable causes of nausea

Are you hungry but with no appetite?

At this point, most of you will be facing a problem that ties itself to a neat loop where you are hungry but cannot eat. Due to nausea, you may have a loss of appetite. So, what do you do now if you can’t eat to remedy the hunger because of your nausea?

A young woman is hungry, her stomach is growling, but she has no appetite to eat.

You should know that the most important thing is never to force yourself to eat a heavy meal just to get rid of the hunger, especially when you’re nauseous.

The best thing to do would be to eat small snacks to prevent yourself from over-feeding and vomiting.

Ginger and mint are home remedies that can almost instantly make you feel better and settle your stomach. Make sure you have small regular meals so that you won’t risk an acid-reflux again.

Lying down in a dark and cool room has that comforting environment to reduce your nausea to a minimum.

At what point should you seek medical help?

Nausea could be a symptom of an underlying disease called GERD. GERD is a chronic condition in which stomach acids may travel from your stomach up into your esophagus, causing acid reflux and severe nausea.

A young man who gets hungry and nauseous at the same time is visiting his doctor to see if it could be GERD.

A shortlist of when to visit your doctor is provided below:

  1. When it comes to nausea related to hunger, you should directly seek medical help if your nausea has made you incapable of eating or drinking for over 12 hours. 
  2. If you have other symptoms such as difficulties in breathing, migraines, or dehydration.
  3. If you feel as if you’re having a heart attack, inclusive of symptoms such as chest pain, pain in your left arm, or jaw pain.
  4. Whenever you feel you may be facing a medical emergency. Count on your instinct on this.

What kinds of food should you eat in this situation?

These food can appease your hunger, but at the same time reduce your likeliness of throwing up.

  1. Ginger – This should always be your first option when it comes to home remedies. Plain ginger tea could sometimes cure that nausea almost instantly.
  2. Cereals/ Crackers/ Toast – These are the sort of plain foods that your stomach would find the least irritating. Its effectiveness can be guaranteed through a 2015 study that shows that 90% of gynecologists advise women with morning sickness to resort to soda-crackers.
  3. Broths – A broth is an easily digestible food. It won’t even matter if it’s chicken or vegetable broth as either can be the perfect stomach comfort food. This is because your stomach tolerates fluids far better than solid meals, especially when you’re nauseous.
  4. Cold Food Items – This can include yogurts, a peanut butter jelly sandwich, and popsicles. When you feel nauseous, your stomach will feel better with cold food rather than warm ones. This is mainly because cold food does not have strong odors. Such odors may trigger your nausea even more.
  5. Bananas – Bananas are not only easy to eat when you feel sick but are also sources of great nutrition. The best part of this food is that it can even help you replace the potassium you have lost if you have been vomiting due to your nausea.
  6. Meals with proteins – Although the reason how protein cures nausea is not so clear, some studies proved that protein-rich meals reduced the symptoms of nausea n pregnant women.


Hunger and nausea can at times happen at the same time. This of course seems to be a contradictory situation. You want to eat, but you also can’t. You’re scared that you’ll through up whatever you eat. But by following the above steps, you might get some relief in a matter of minutes.

By avoiding difficult-to-digest foods, eating healthy, and taking regular meals, you’ll find your nausea long gone and have a far better appetite than ever. You just need to take one step at a time. And remember, prevention is better than cure, so stick to eating your meals on time.

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Kavisha Rodrigo
I'm a sports person that enjoys researching into pushing the limitations of the human body. When it comes to health, I'm a big fan of working out and staying healthy. For hobbies, I'm a big fan of Pokemon and Coldplay.

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