Understanding Nausea and Sweating: Why Hydration Is Important
Do you remember the last time you felt nauseous and sweaty? Did you feel the constant, frantic urge to vomit or cool down? Yet, all this time, you didn't know what caused your symptoms and how to fix them. You’re not alone.
Every year, millions of people suffer from the unpleasant effects of nausea and sweating. However, it’s difficult to understand the exact cause of these common symptoms. Nausea and sweating may be caused by one or more underlying medical conditions, or they may occur without any history of health conditions.
Here, we’ll review the most common causes of nausea and sweating as well as possible treatments. We’ll also discuss dehydration, a potentially life-threatening complication of nausea and sweating.
The Science Behind Nausea And Sweating
Nausea and sweating are your body’s way of responding to changes that may affect its normal way of functioning.
Nausea occurs when sensitive nerves in your stomach are stimulated. Impulses are sent to a region of the brain called the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ). The CTZ is responsible for controlling nausea and vomiting.
The CTZ triggers a response characterized by nausea and, sometimes, vomiting. Nausea may come before vomiting, but either can occur without the other.
Sweating helps the body to cool down when it’s hot. When you sweat, your body loses heat as the sweat evaporates from the skin.
Nausea is sometimes associated with sweating. When this happens, it’s usually due to the activation of part of your nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system, the same one that’s fired up when you’re anxious or scared. Sympathetic activation is a sign that your body is in distress. Your heart will beat faster and you will start to sweat. Though it might not look like much, nausea associated with both vomiting and sweating may cause dehydration.
Common Causes of Nausea and Sweating
Nausea and sweating may result from both medical and non-medical causes. In most cases, the two symptoms are mild and don’t require medical attention. However, they may signify serious underlying medical conditions so it's important to understand why they occur.
Some common causes of nausea and sweating include:
Medical causes of nausea and sweating or those that arise from medical conditions or treatments offered. They include:
Indigestion is also known as heartburn. Heartburn occurs when the acidic contents of your stomach are forced back into the food pipe. This causes a chemical irritation of the nerve endings, triggering nausea.
2. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are the most common symptoms, but nausea, vomiting, and associated sweating are almost always present.
3. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are notorious for triggering nausea and sweating.
When you get anxious, your body releases adrenaline. Adrenaline triggers a fight-or-flight mode which causes your heart to beat faster and makes you sweaty.
Anxiety disorders cause a specific type of sweat known as cold sweat. A cold sweat is that which does not result from heat or exertion.
Hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar levels. Glucose is the primary source of energy for your cells. Low blood sugar affects the functionality of vital organs such as the brain.
Nausea and heavy sweating are among the warning signs of hypoglycemia. Other signs to look out for include a fast heartbeat, difficulty breathing, blurred vision, headache, fatigue, lightheadedness, and confusion.
5. Morning Sickness
Nausea is one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy. Nausea usually starts during the first trimester and often disappears by the third trimester. In addition to nausea, pregnant women may also experience a sudden onset of excessive sweating.
Some pregnant women experience what is known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which refers to severe nausea and vomiting. Severe vomiting can cause dehydration.
6. Side Effect of Drugs
Certain drugs stimulate the CTZ directly, resulting in nausea and vomiting. Cancer medications are an example of such drugs.
Non-medical causes are those that don’t arise from underlying health conditions or medical interventions. Examples of non-medical causes of nausea and sweating are:
1. Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is caused by traveling long distances. The body usually maintains balance through a system of sensors, located in the inner ear, which send spatial information to the brain. The brain coordinates balance according to this information. Prolonged movement can mix up the sensors.
2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
When you take alcohol, your body initiates nausea and vomiting as a way of eliminating alcohol. Sweating occurs due to increased activity of your liver as it breaks down ethanol. The liver is the organ responsible for generating body heat. Vomiting, sweating, and increased frequency of urination may result in dehydration.
3. Eating Habits
Eating too much or too little food can cause nausea. People on a weight-loss journey or those with eating disorders are more susceptible to nausea due to dieting.
Management of Nausea and Sweating
Fortunately, there are ways to manage nausea, sweating, and their causes. A few options you can explore are:
1. Hydration Response
Adequate hydration is important in easing nausea. Water or bone broth can help. However, an oral rehydration solution such as DripDrop is more effective in tackling dehydration and its causes since it contains the perfect balance of electrolytes your body needs for proper fluid absorption.
A couple of anti-nausea drugs are available over-the-counter, while others require a prescription. It's important to seek medical advice when taking anti-nausea drugs since some of them have serious side effects.
Excessive sweating doesn’t usually require any medications apart from correcting the cause.
3. Treatment of Underlying Conditions
Treatment of the medical conditions causing nausea and sweating is a definite way to get rid of the symptoms. For example, successfully treating a stomach infection may relieve its symptoms, such as nausea and sweating.
4. Lifestyle Modifications
Lifestyle changes such as eating regular meals, not skipping breakfast, not consuming inadvisable amounts of alcohol, weight loss, and managing stress levels can help
5. Home Remedies
Ginger, mint, and chamomile tea relieve nausea. Peppermint, almond, and lemon essential oils are also effective.
Symptoms and Complications of Nausea and Sweating
Nausea and sweating can be mild symptoms that are easy to overlook. However, they can lead to serious complications. Dehydration is one of these complications. Dehydration is a condition where your body loses more fluid and electrolytes than your total intake.
When nausea is associated with vomiting or excessive sweating, it causes fluid and electrolyte losses. Electrolytes include calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Electrolytes serve important functions in the body from maintenance of healthy blood pressure to conduction of nerve impulses.
Fluid and electrolyte deficiencies may trigger serious health conditions, some of which are medical emergencies. Before we look at them, how can you tell that you are dehydrated?
Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Reduced frequency of urination
Dark-yellow, strong-smelling urine
Dry lips and skin
Shortness of breath or fast breathing
Anxiety and confusion
Poor skin elasticity
It’s important to look out for the symptoms of dehydration and seek medical attention when they persist, worsen, or you suffer from underlying medical conditions.
Dehydration poses a significant risk to the vital organs in the body. Let’s explore some of them:
1. Heart Problems
When you are dehydrated, your blood volume reduces, the blood thickens, and your heart needs to work harder to maintain blood flow to the rest of the body. This is achieved by narrowing blood vessels and raising the heart rate to preserve blood pressure.
Pumping thick blood through narrowed vessels may cause a blockage. If the blockage occurs in the blood vessels supplying the heart itself, a heart attack is possible. People with heart disease are more vulnerable to heart attacks caused by dehydration.
The American Heart Association points out adequate hydration as a critical measure for good heart health. If you suffer from a heart condition, consult your doctor.
2. Seizures And Heatstroke
Electrolytes are important in conducting nerve impulses. An electrolyte imbalance may trigger a seizure due to the abnormal firing of neurons.
Heatstroke occurs when your body is unable to cool down sufficiently. It’s due to the combined effects of prolonged exposure to high temperatures and dehydration. Heatstroke can be a life-threatening condition that needs to be addressed urgently with professional medical attention.
When you are dehydrated, you can’t produce enough sweat to cool down, and your body temperature may rise to dangerous levels.
3. Kidney Problems
Dehydration causes waste products to build up in the kidneys. Reduced blood flow to the kidneys may also cause kidney stones which block the tubes and interfere with the elimination of wastes. Accumulation of toxic products is damaging to the kidneys. Adequate hydration is important for healthier kidneys. Consult your physician if you have kidney disease.
How to Correct Dehydration: Use DripDrop
Nausea and sweating may cause dehydration. When you are dehydrated, you always feel thirsty. Your immediate instinct is to drink water. But, did you know that water alone isn’t sufficient to correct dehydration?
Why do we say so?
Well, dehydration is more than just the loss of fluid. It includes loss of electrolytes as well. Therefore, you’ll need to replace lost electrolytes too. Certain drinks such as coconut or lemon water contain electrolytes, but their quantities and ratios of electrolytes aren’t optimal for the body.
DripDrop contains the right balance of electrolytes that your body requires. DripDrop’s patented, medical-grade dehydration remedy exceeds World Health Organization’s standards for oral rehydration solutions because of its delicious taste, giving you a medically viable ORS that also tastes great. In addition, DripDrop is low in glucose compared to sports drinks and its packaging is convenient enough to carry around.
Explore our blog to learn more about what to drink when you’re sick. Get started with our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, learn more about how you can save up to 25% on every purchase when you subscribe.
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