Chronic pain is defined as a physical ache that persists for at least three to six months. Long-term pain can be caused by various medical conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), low back pain, and sports injuries. Fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, anxiety, and depression, including nausea, are known side effects of acute pain. Read on to learn more.
Why Does Chronic Pain Sometimes Cause Nausea?
One possible cause of chronic pain-induced nausea is an interaction between the nervous and gastrointestinal (GI) systems. Pain signals are transmitted to the brain via the nerves, which can bring about several physiological responses, including nausea. In response to pain, the brain triggers serotonin release or the production of a stress hormone known as cortisol; both play a role in regulating nausea and vomiting.
Because chronic pain disrupts the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, the constant discomfort and stress can affect the digestive process, leading to multiple symptoms, including nausea. The emotional and psychological effects of chronic pain can also contribute to nausea. Experiencing ongoing pain can culminate in elevated stress levels, anxiety, and depression, which in turn, upsets the digestive system and results in feeling nauseated.
What Can I Do to Counter The Effects of Chronic Pain-Induced Nausea?
While nausea can be difficult to regulate, especially if the chronic pain is cancer-related, there are strategies you can use to help relieve symptoms:
- Pain-targeting medication, such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or even certain antidepressants, may be prescribed to provide pain relief and the associated nausea.
- Engaging in relaxation techniques, like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, may promote overall well-being.
- Making dietary adjustments like avoiding anything that triggers or worsens nausea; for instance, greasy foods or consuming small, frequent meals may provide relief. Staying hydrated is also important, as dehydration can exacerbate symptoms.
Psychological support for individuals experiencing chronic pain is highly advisable. Addressing the emotional factors associated with pain through therapy or counseling can help reduce stress and indirectly alleviate nausea symptoms.
What Type of Doctor Should I See for Chronic Pain?
Anyone with persistent chronic pain-induced nausea should see a rheumatologist, neurologist, licensed chiropractor, occupational therapist, or spine care doctor for accurate diagnosis. These specialists employ multidimensional treatment options like physical therapy, medication, surgery, and rehabilitation to manage pain.
Consult Our Team of Specialists
Chronic pain affects millions of Americans and when accompanied by nausea, it can negatively affect everyday life. One must look at the interaction between the nervous and GI systems, including emotional and psychological factors, to uncover the connection between severe pain and nausea. Preventing chronic pain-induced nausea requires a multi-faceted approach involving medication, relaxation techniques, dietary adjustments, and seeking psychological support.
Individuals can regain control over their lives by addressing chronic pain and associated symptoms, including nausea. Do not suffer in silence. Schedule an appointment with North Lakes Pain specialists today to start your journey toward a pain and nausea-free life. Fill out the form below.