Overload

Nausea

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

Rather than use a whole load of photos showing people being sick,
which did not seem to be a good idea, I have decided to use the
paintings of Igor Morski, partly because they are lovely and partly
because they are all green ........

Nausea (Latin nausea, from Greek ναυσία - nausia, "ναυτία" - nautia, motion sickness", "feeling sick," "queasy" or "wamble") is a sensation of unease and discomfort in the upper stomach with an involuntary urge to vomit. It often, but not always, precedes vomiting. A person can suffer nausea without vomiting. (Greek ναῦς - naus, "ship"; ναυσία started as meaning "seasickness".)

It essentially is a symptom as opposed to an illness or disease and often accompanies a host of illnesses and diseases as well as emotional states and 'events'/conditions.  One can feel nausea from migraines and headaches, influenza, malaria, brain tumours, encephalitis, pregnancy, stress, fear, carbon monoxide poisoning, anaesthesia, numerous pharmaceuticals [of which more shortly], food poisoning, motion sickness, leukemia, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, radiation, scarlet fever, shock, smallpox, water intoxication, yellow fever and zinc imbalance!  And this is not a complete list.  It is a very common symptom.

There are four principle causes, although these will be explored in more detail in a moment:

  • Brain damage - a part of the brain is being attacked and affecting our systems of balance or simply affecting us so much in general, that the autonomic system has decided we need to lie down and rest, and making us feel sick is a good way of achieving this.
  • Ingestion of something harmful - a pathogen that has the potential to harm us  has by-passed the defences of the mouth and is now in our stomach and the stomach acid is not strong enough or the right medium to kill or get rid of it.    Ideally in this case we are sick, hopefully we vomit profusely and get rid of the pathogen.  And we need to keep on drinking water with electrolytes in [so we do not become dehydrated or suffer from mineral imbalance] until we stop being sick naturally because the pathogen has been removed.
  • Confusing inputs - our perception system is being given inputs so confusing and contradictory, it decides that we need to lie down and close our eyes and rest, so it achieves this by making us feel sick.
  • Extreme emotion - which by invoking our sympathetic nervous system causes us to be sick.  This is explained in more detail below
green-machine igor morski

I think the first thing we need to realise is that being sick or nauseas, however unpleasant, is a good thing not a bad thing.  And if we are actually sick and do what our body is telling us to do, even better.

In each case, to ignore the symptom and treat it with anti-emetics is an extremely unwise course of action, as unless you know the cause you could be lining yourself up for very severe trouble in the future.  If a bacterial pathogen has managed to enter our stomach, for example, to use anti-emetics then means we let the bacteria enter our intestinal system where it may enter the blood stream and cause death.

So let us now look at these causes in a little more detail.

 

Causes

The following provides some of the main causes I have been able to find research on in the scientific literature

 

Igor Morski

Food allergy

As the stomach is the first line of defence against substances it knows to be harmful, if the immune system encounters a food to which we have become intolerant or to which we are allergic, it is likely to provoke nausea and if you are lucky vomiting.  I say, if you are lucky, because if you do not vomit and the food enters the body, the effects are likely to be a great deal worse, because we are, to all intents and purposes, poisoning ourselves.

 

Brain damage

This sounds rather horrific, and in some cases it can be, but even slight damage occasioned during birth or during fetal development appears to run the risk of making one susceptible to motion sickness and possibly also morning sickness. The key system is the Vestibular system, if there is any damage to this system nausea may result.  For example

The involvement of otolith organs in motion sickness has long been debated......The present study thus aimed at evaluating the otolith functioning in individuals with motion sickness. Cervical and ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials were recorded from 30 individuals with motion sickness, 30 professional drivers and 30 healthy individuals. ....All the individuals in the motion sickness group had high asymmetry ratio ....Thus, reduced response and/or asymmetric otolithic function seem the likely reasons behind motion sickness susceptibility.  PMID: 25220694

Igor Morski

The otolithic membrane is a fibrous structure located in the vestibular system of the inner ear. It plays a critical role in the brain's interpretation of equilibrium. The membrane serves to determine if the body or the head is tilted, in addition to the linear acceleration of the body. The linear acceleration could be in the horizontal direction as in a moving car or vertical acceleration such as that felt when an elevator moves up or down.  Using the rather crude method I used to determine difficult birth, if your eyes or ears are different levels and your glasses have to be adjusted to accomodate different ear heights, you may be suffering from damage to the otolithic membrane.

This is minor damage and may make you more susceptible to motion sickness and morning sickness, but other forms of brain damage - encephalitis, meningitis, tumours, cysts and so on may all affect this system and also cause nausea.  Thus nausea is a serious symptom and if it is accompanied by dizziness and vertigo needs investigation to find the pathogen causing the damage - virus, parasite, toxin, fungus, or bacteria.

 

Igor Morski

Poisoning and toxin ingestion

A toxin is often a man-made substance, a poison is usually a naturally occurring substance - in effect found in nature.  A toxin is any substance which the body is not equipped to handle.  It has no use in the body.  In contrast, a poison may have a use, but the dose in which it may be given may prove destructive.

Whether something is a poison or not is dependent on the dose given.  Any substance at the wrong dose is poisonous and can kill.  Vitamin A in overdose proportions can kill.

Once you have developed a Food allergy, all sorts of foods can become poisonous to you, which may not have been before.  Thus ingestion of a substance which is toxic or a substance which at the dose ingested is poisonous can, nay should result in vomiting.

Functional overload

One of the rather peculiar things about motion sickness, is that it can occur during exposure to physical motion, visual motion, and virtual motion.  In effect, it may be called motion sickness, but in many cases it isn't caused by motion at all, in some cases the whole process appears to be governed by the way our perceptions are being processed.  Thus we can conclude that this is a functional problem and one determined by our perception system and  reasoning system.  It is not a physical problem it is a mental problem - a problem of the mind and not the brain.  It may be helpful to have The Model of the Mind available whilst you read this explanation.

Igor Morski

The Perception activity produces Perceptions and Perceptions are a combined record of everything that has happened to things including us.  It is a log of activity and includes not just the input from the Senses but any Emotions as well.  There are two functions that then act on these perceptions - the learning and the reasoning systems.

The basic reasoning system [as opposed to the very advanced system which uses Memory more] helps the Will decide the next course of action.  But if a course of action is difficult to work out because the input is so confusing, there may be little reasoned input forthcoming.  The safest course of action in these circumstances is to lie down horizontally and close your eyes [an action which often relieves the problem].  And one way of making the person lie down is to make them feel ill, sick.  Thus in some senses the body is directing the Will at this stage - we can't work out what to do given the input we have received - play safe, as you might fall over and hurt yourself if you remain standing. 

It is a very intriguing process, as it shows how much the autonomic system can still control the Will - a fact we know from the sexual impulses, but we know less about in other areas.  Well here we have an example of a different sort of control.

Another extremely important finding of the research community is that it is exacerbated [not caused] by Sleep deprivation, insomnia and mental exhaustion.  In effect when the mind is even less able to reason because it is tired, it becomes worse.

There may be some of this functional overload activity present during morning sickness.  Morning sickness is not well named as it can happen at all times of the day.  And it may well be a means of getting the mother to rest more and sleep to let the baby grow.  We push ourselves very hard in western society continuing work, often under stress [which is not good for a baby at all] continuing to do housework and so on, when we might be better taking it easy.  The early stages of fetal development are absolutely key, as such the body may well be telling us to stop the relentless pushing and activity and give the baby a chance to grow in peace.

Igor Morski

Although studies into morning sickness worldwide are not very comprehensive, meta-analyses seem to indicate that it is a problem of the so called 'developed world', and that the more peaceful, relaxed, content and spiritually aware 'under-developed world', do not get it............

Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) is the most common medical condition in pregnancy, …..We identified 116 studies, rejecting 37 and accepting 79, of which 59 provided data for NVP (N=93,753 in 13 countries) and 26 for HG (N= 6,155,578). All developed regions of the world were represented (2 studies from Africa, 1 India; none from Latin America). ….. the meta-analytic average rate was 69.4% ….. Among pregnant women, 32.7% had nausea without vomiting and 23.5% overall had NVP continuing into the third trimester. NVP was rated as mild in 40%, moderate in 46% and severe in 14% of cases. The prevalence of HG was 1.1%   PMID:  23863575

HG = hyperemesis gravidarum, the very severe form of  NVP.

Igor Morski

 Nutritional deprivation

Why should the body cause anyone, but especially pregnant women, to vomit when they may be suffering from nutritional deprivation and would seem to need all the food they can get?  The answer is because what they are eating is essentialy poisonous or toxic.


 

Western society has become a society of rubbish eating.  Instead of eating a balanced varied, simple, regular diet of organic foods, with lots of fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, seeds and wholegrains,  we stuff ourselves with some truly shocking food, often in overdose amounts, then try to counteract the effects of malnutrition by eating vitamin supplements, mineral supplements and all the other so called 'health food' which is not healthy at all.  Some pregnant mums are given iron supplements [which can cause brain damage to both you and the baby], for example and then wonder why they are sick and have constipation.  Another mineral which can cause problems during pregnancy, for example, if it is not in balance is Iodine/Iodide.

Iodine is an essential micronutrient for neurodevelopment and thyroid function, and has been in short supply for most humans over most of our evolutionary history. Iodine deficiency during gestation has severe impacts on embryo neuromotor development, but also induces thyroid disease in mothers, impairing her future reproductive prospects. ….. As maternal thyroid hormone levels rise, placental D3 is upregulated, shunting more T4 and T3 into a deactivating pathway. The metabolites that result, particularly the inert metabolite of T4, reverse T3, are correlates of surplus thyroid hormone production and thus are strong candidates for the proximate triggers of pregnancy sickness. PMID:  24721478

Both deficiency and overdose can cause problems in pregnant mothers and the rest of us.  Nausea and vomiting are a symptom of rubbish eating - eating in excess, drinking in excess, eating food with additives or artificial colouring,  eating food that has been waxed or stored for too long.  Eating food that is not fresh and thus is full of bacteria, fungi and toxins.

 

Igor Morski

Extreme emotion

All the 'negative' forms of extreme emotion can result in a person feeling sick - nauseous and in some cases lead to vomiting. 

So for example all the following Events might be classified as being ones which generate largely negative extreme emotion, often fear, sometimes grief, also pain - the list is not exhaustive but illustrative 

Angst

 Anxiety

Being badly wounded

Being buried alive

Being constantly criticised

Being in a car accident

Being in extremely inhospitable surroundings

Choking

Drowning

Exposure to cold

Extreme pain

Extreme unhappiness

Fury, overwhelming rage and anger

Grief

Humiliation

Insecurity

Loneliness and isolation

Losing your independence

Overwhelming fear and terror

Physical abuse and beating

Psychological trauma

Rape

Shock

Stress

Suffocation

Torture

Unrequited love

War

Winding and chest compression

Why should such extreme emotion produce vomiting or nausea?

The answer lies in the ancient functions of the sympathetic nervous system.   The SNS is our fight and flight response system.  When it comes into play, the heart rate increases, the liver releases glucose into the blood stream to help us to flee and thus fuel the muscles; the arteries and veins dilate to enable more glucose to be pumped round the system and get to all the organs, the bronchi in the lungs expand ready to help us get more oxygen in our flight activity.  And blood vessels to the stomach, the pancreas, the bladder and intestine are constricted with processing as a consequence largely stopping  – so we have no need to poo or wee during flight.  All this is automatic. 

Igor Morski

Even if we are sitting at a desk about to take an exam, worried beyond belief, this same system is in operation.  Adrenaline is pumping round our bodies at a prodigious rate.  Unfortunately under extreme prolonged conditions of emotional stress, with nowhere to flee and no one to fight except ourselves, the blood glucose stays in our system eventually giving us diseases like atherosclerosis and diabetes and we suffer from constipation and gastrointestinal reflux and other stomach problems.  

What else happens?  If you are about to flee a ravenous Tyrannosaurus rex, the last thing you want in your stomach is food, which will weigh you down, is not being processed [as stomach action has been halted] and could be regurgitated in the flight response and suffocate you.  So the body removes the food by making you sick.  Extreme fear thus results in physical sickness, even though the Tyrannosaurus rex has long since disappeared as a problem.  It is an autonomic response and you can do nothing about it except to try to invoke your parasympathetic nervous system.

Viral infection

Viruses in general cause nausea and sickness as the body tries to expel the virus from the stomach, if it has managed to make its way into the body via the mouth. To take but one example, influenza causes nausea and vomiting.

Igor Morski

But there is an interesting additional viral problem which is rarely mentionned.  Many viruses, once in the body, stay with us for life.  The immune system does its best to keep them at bay, but overall they remain secreted and ready for action our entire life.  And if they can, they travel round the body.  One of the places they can find a home is the brain and once in the brain they can attack the organs of the brain including those in the ear which help with balance, as we saw above with brain damage:

Neuritis vestibularis (NV) as a cause of vertigo is common among adults but very rare among children and is often underrecognized and underdiagnosed. Viral infection is suspected to be the most common cause and symptoms are sudden onset of vertigo, nausea, vomiting, impaired balance and horizontal nystagmus. This case report describes a three-year-old boy diagnosed with NV. To our knowledge it is the first case diagnosed in Denmark. PMID:25354005

Vestibular neuronitis can be a paroxysmal, single attack of vertigo, a series of attacks, or a persistent condition that diminishes over three to six weeks. It is a type of unilateral vestibular dysfunction and may be associated with nausea and vomiting.  Quite a number of viruses are already implicated.  The influenza virus is one, the virus responsible for the common cold is another, the herpes simplex virus is a third.  But in time I think we may find that most viruses can do this damage

A serovirological study to clarify the pathogenesis of vestibular neuronitis was made on 44 patients. The diagnosis of vestibular neuronitis was made under the diagnostic criteria. Sera from all 44 cases were collected twice or more at defined intervals. Of these, 36 cases were treated as paired sera. Seventeen out of 36 paired cases showed significant change in serum viral antibody titer

  • HSV, 2 cases;
  • CMV, 1 case;
  • EBV, 7 cases;
  • rubella, 2 cases;
  • adeno., 2 cases;
  • influ. A, 1 case;
  • influ. B, 2 cases

It was assumed that infection caused by these detected viruses played an important role in the onset of vertigo in each case. PMID: 2635537

A number of disease causing very similar symptoms - one of which is nausea - may have similar origins, for example Ménière's disease, and Labyrinthitis.

 

Igor Morski

 Vaccines

When we vaccinate someone we give them a dose of a virus in the hope they will build up immunity.  Where the vaccine used in the injection is a live virus, there are instances where it, although apparently vanquished by the immune system, lays low and continues to attack, albeit at a much reduced rate.  Some of these viruses can reach the brain and cause brain damage.  In some ways development of vaccines is putting the cart way before the horse and it is a runaway cart liable to do untold damage.  We do not know the entirety of diseases or illnesses caused by viruses or bacteria, nor do we know precisely whether each one is eradicated by the immune system or simply lies low.  To give anyone a live virus when this information is not known, carries enormous risk - and one of the risks is brain damage - with the repercussions described above.

Bacterial infection

Bacteria in general cause nausea and sickness as the body tries to expel the bacteria from the stomach, if it has managed to make its way into the body via the mouth. Dysentery, which causes both diarrhoea ad vomiting is caused by the Shigella and Salmonella bacteria.  Food poisoning  is any illness resulting from the consumption of food which has been contaminated by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.  Better out than in.  Vomiting is our protection mechanism against these invaders.

But bacteria can also cause brain damage, if it somehow by passes our normal defences.  Encephalitis  is an acute inflammation of the brain and can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, if it attacks the vestibular system it causes nausea.  Mastoiditis is caused by  Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophillus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis and the infection can result in nausea and vomiting.  Meningitis can be caused by several types of bacteria.   In premature babies and newborns up to three months old, common causes are  group B streptococci, Escherichia coli and  Listeria monocytogenes.  It too can result in nausea.

 

Igor Morski

 Parasites

There are literally hundreds of parasites and depending on the site and circumstances of infection, they can get everywhere from the intestine to the brain, from the lungs to the pancreas. 

And they do, in high numbers. 

We tend to ingest them in food or water and once they reach the stomach, they cause nausea and hopefully vomiting, because the very last thing we want in our system is a parasite, as they are really killers.

Their presence is known from cysts, which form around the parasites if your immune system is working well.  But the presence of cysts is a sure indicator of damage.  And if they get to the brain - which the do - they can cause brain damage with all its repercussions - see above.

Toxoplasmosis, for example, is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family - see Being with cats.

Fungal infection

Igor Morski

Fungal infection or fungi which enter the stomach - so for example on spoiled food or mouldy food, will cause nausea and hopefully the person will be sick enough to get rid of the fungi/mould.  But there is another more insidious route that mould and fungi can enter the body and do a great deal more harm - this time via the blood stream to the organs and the brain and this is the catheter.  If it enters the brain you get brain damage with the repercussions described above, for example:

A 33-year-old multipara with hyperemesis [extreme morning sickness] underwent placement of a peripherally inserted central catheter for parenteral nutrition. She subsequently developed candidemia with both blood and the peripherally inserted central catheter tip cultures positive for Candida parapsilosis. The catheter was removed, the patient was started on intravenous amphotericin B, and due to side effects, she was switched to intravenous fluconazole. ...... PMID: 16449178

Pharmaceuticals

The body regards most pharmaceuticals as toxins as they present a threat to the system and its balance and stability. Nausea is a known side-effect of chemotherapy teatments, for example, often accepted as being a necessary evil [although it may help to read the chemotherapy section and that on cancer].   The eHealthme site now has a very long list of pharmaceuticals which cause nausea.  The list of pharmaceuticals is based on Adverse Drug reports submitted to the FDA and SEDA.  The list can be found by following this LINK.

 

Igor Morski

Radiation

All radiation whether 'cosmic' or electromagnetic impacts our bodies and depending on its frequency it resonates different parts of us.  The reason that nuclear radiation is so dangerous is that it impacts cells, but what we appear to have overlooked is that all radiation impacts some part of us.

Every aggregate in our bodies - organs, cells, the body itself, has natural ‘resonance’.  Resonance is a substance’s natural tendency to oscillate – vibrate – at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the thing’s resonant frequency.

And long term exposure at the resonating frequency, or short term high intensity exposure to the resonating frequency of the stomach can cause nausea.  The same is true if the resonance occurs to the vestibular function. 

 Hypoxia

Igor Morski

There are all sorts of ways in which one can suffer from oxygen deprivation    -  strenuous physical exercise; from asphyxiation; from smoke inhalation or steam inhalation; from drowning; from gas inhalation; from winding or being winded;  from forms of breathing such as hyperventilation;  from going up high mountains where the air is thin; from ballooning at high altitude; from parachuting from high altitudes;  and the list could go on.  Inhaling volatiles and gases, including those used for anaesthesia, carbon monoxide poisoning, oxygen deprivation caused by such illnesses as sleep apnea, 'bad air' and air pollution, all can result in nausea.

This area is interesting, as the body is reacting to something going into the lungs not the stomach, which rather indicates that this is yet another functional effect - that the body is responding to a threat, by making you feel sick enough to want to remove yourself from the threat.

Treatment

 

Symptom based

The standard approach used in conventional and thus symptom based medicine is to treat the symptoms using anti-emetics, which given the nature of the causes could be very problematical, depending on the circumstances.

Another drug used to treat motion sickness is scopolamine

Cause based

The cause based approach says you need to find the cause of the nausea, and not to repress any symptoms; if anything if you feel sick, be sick, but make sure you do not get dehydration or mineral imbalance as a consequence.

The invocation of the parasympathetic nervous system is key in all functionally based forms of sickness - such as motion sickness.  Although ginger is often recommended, ginger I am afraid does not work, if it does it is a placebo effect, which serves to calm people:

Although powdered ginger (500 mg) partially inhibited tachygastria in motion sickness, it did not enhance the EGG amplitude in motion sick subjects. We conclude that ginger does not possess antimotion sickness activity, nor does it significantly alter gastric function during motion sickness.  PMID:  2062873

But there are other approaches  which I have covered in the observations. 

Note that all the suppression activities are geared towards te invocation of the parasympathetic nervous system.  Thus warmth will help, for example, and LOVE.

How it works

Why does nausea produce spiritual experiences such as hallucinations etc?  Generally it appears to be the side effects such as dehydration and nutritional deprivation [mineral imbalance] that physically produce the effects.  But functionally, invasion of this kind constitites a threat - see How spiritual experience works

More details can also be found in the section on Serotonin imbalance.

 

References and further reading

Papers

Exp Brain Res. 2014 Aug;232(8):2493-510. doi: 10.1007/s00221-014-4008-8. Epub 2014 Jun 25. - Motion sickness: more than nausea and vomiting. Lackner JR.  Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454, USA, lackner@brandeis.edu  PMID:  24961738

 

Igor Morski

Igor Morski is a Polish graphic designer, illustrator and set designer. He graduated with honors from the Interior Architecture and Industrial Design Faculty at the State Higher School of Fine Art in Poznań (now the University of Arts). He has worked for public broadcasting company Polish Television ; and for various magazines  including Wprost, Newsweek, Businessweek, Businessman Magazine, Manager Magazine, Charaktery, Psychologia dziś, Deloitte Review, Australian, Prevention, Money, ITB, Men’s Health, Womans Health, and George. He is a winner of many prestigious awards including Communication Arts Excellence Award (2008, 2010) and Applied Arts Award (2010).

He can be contacted via this LINK.   Contact igor@morski.pl

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