Managing the Unending Nausea of Fibro and CFS

Two years ago, I had agonizing back pain that would not respond to any treatment. I was completely incapacitated with pain. We saw a Spinal Specialist at one of the big hospitals and I can remember my Husband explaining to him that if we could just improve my back pain, that my quality of life would dramatically improve. My back finally did improve, but what we weren’t counting on was another whole set of symptoms replacing that back pain. Since then, that has pretty much been the path that my illnesses have taken. In an almost cyclical pattern, as soon as one thing improves, it is replaced by something equally as challenging to live with-or worse.

Apparently, the horrendous nausea I previously lived with has decided that this is an opportune time to return. Yay me. Can’t I ever get a symptom like uncontrollably happy? Feeling wonderful? Tons of energy? Well, clearly not. So, here we are. Again.

Some people would think that nausea isn’t really that bad. That it can be lived with. It can be lived with, but it IS that bad and it IS miserable to live with.

These days, I walk around nearly constantly nauseous. It feels as though I will choke, if I swallow one more time (without any food, mind you). It makes going anywhere, at all, nearly impossible. It affects my meal planning and nutrition. It recently affected my Daughter’s Birthday when I struggled to eat at all. And it seriously impacts my quality of life.

Nausea and gastro issues are common in both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I am also incredibly lucky that it also accompanies migraines (insert eye rolls here). So what can we do? Here are some of the things I do to manage the constant nausea. Like anything with these diseases, they only marginally help and not consistently, but over the years I have found a few things to share with you.

My medication arsenal consists of:

  • Bonine, which has the active ingredient Meclizine in it. Meclizine can help with motion sickness related nausea.
  • Zofran, which is often used for the nausea that comes from chemotherapy, but is also given for severe nausea and vomiting. Zofran does not work preventatively, instead it’s use is for once you’re already nauseous or vomiting.
  • Scolpamine patches, which are patches to place behind your ear with a duration of three days.

Non Drug remedies include the following:

  • Sea Bands
  • Chewing gum
  • Ginger supplements, tea, snaps, essential oil
  • Digest Zen. An essential oil mixture sold by DoTerra
  • Peppermint tea or essential oil
  • Real Ginger Ale, such as Bruce Cost-which can be purchased below. Of note, the most popular ginger ales just recently faced a myriad of lawsuits over not containing real ginger as indicated.
    https://buy.brooklynfoodandbeverage.com/Products/Bruce-Cost-Ginger-Ale
  • Gently applying pressure just above the wrist. This is actually pressure point-P6 and is used in accupuncture. It looks like this:

Here’s a short video from one of the best cancer hospitals in the country demonstrating how this is done:
https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/acupressure-nausea-and-vomiting

As for food, it’s a battle these days to get anything, at all, into my system. The current state of nausea causes an adverse reaction to even seeing or smelling food. It reminds me of morning sickness. So when you’re so sick you can’t take the sight or smell of food, how can you adequately ascertain any nutrition? I go back to basics.

We often try to think of having complete, nutritional meals for optimal health. But if you’re too ill to eat or swallow, it’s important to remember that not all nutritionally sound “meals” need to actually be meals. Here is a list of my “go to’s”:

  • Fresh organic berries
  • Smoothies made from frozen organic berries. You can also add protein powder.
  • Organic walnuts or pistachios are my favorites, but really any nut or legume will do.
  • Organic chicken nuggets-made with all natural ingredients (below)
  • Organic apple with or without organic peanut butter
  • Organic baby carrots or pea pods
  • Organic protein bar (be careful on this one, many protein bars have little to no nutritional value)
  • Organic english muffin with organic butter
  • Plain piece of organic chicken

I normally drink water like a camel. When I’m sick like this, water consumption becomes a huge challenge. Try adding fresh or frozen berries, cucumber or melon to it, to make it more palatable and to add some nutrients and antioxidants.

I no longer say “if this improves, my quality of life will improve”. In time, we learned that that is not how these diseases work. Instead it’s about managing each set of symptoms and trying our best to live within the confines that they determine. So for now, it’s nausea. How do you cope with nausea?

❤ Stace

ps for those necessary car rides, try bringing a pot with a lid just in case

**Disclaimer** I am *not* a medical professional and this post should not be interpreted as medical advice. It is personal opinion. Please contact your Doctor and seek medical care for any symptoms or illnesses.

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

17 thoughts on “Managing the Unending Nausea of Fibro and CFS

    1. It’s crazy, we have so much to deal with, you would think nausea would not be as big of a deal-but it’s just awful. I’m so sorry you feel that way too. It’s such a tough fight to fight constantly. You’re doing great! Hang in there, Susan!! ❤ Stace

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  1. There is a product called 2 Cal. It’s 2 calories for every cc of fluids. So if you can get a medicine cup of fluid down it’s 120 calories. Excellent when having issues keeping food or fluids down and unwanted weight loss. I think you can still get it at Amazon.com. It was a major help when I worked elder care. I have a hard time after meals. Nausea is a daily battle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Uncontrollable happy’ as a symptom would be absolutely fantastic! I’ll put my name down for that one too 😉

    I’m so sorry you deal with nausea so regularly. I’ve had it on and off, sometimes odd days other times a week or more at a time, and it’s incredibly rough. You’ve done brilliantly with this post as there’s so many suggestions here I’d not thought of or even come across before. What are Sea Bands? I’ll have to Google that after I leave this comment. The pressure point on the wrist is an interesting one; do you find that helps you at all? I think if any of these things can make even a small difference then they’re worth it; every little helps to make life more tolerable when battling nausea on top of everything else.

    Caz xx

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    1. Yeah, somehow our symptoms never really work out that way, do they? It would be great though!
      Did you find the Sea Bands online? They utilize the same principals as Acupuncture does, compressing pressure points in the wrist to combat the nausea. And OMG. I can’t tell you the meltdowns I’ve had this week with the nausea. (okay, well bad migraines all week too, but still). It’s so violent, I have to lie down. It just makes doing anything, at all, really impossible. I’m sorry you contend with it too. I feel like we already have SO much to deal with, it just isn’t fair to stockpile this on top. And good Heavens, it’s SO hard to stop.
      I really hope some or any of these remedies helps you. ❤

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  3. I think the nausea is the worst part of fibro. I just went through one of those weeks where I couldn’t get out of bed because it was so bad. I am grateful for zofran because it does help. I live on Pedialyte during those times and choke down a few saltine crackers when I can manage it. Altoids help me the most. I also take ginger capsules and vitamin B6 with the zofran. I keep an Altoid in my mouth at all times when I’m nauseous. Thanks for the suggestions…I shall get some of them to have available to try next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, Linda, I’m sorry you deal with this too. Seems like a lot of us do. I hadn’t thought of the Altoids-great idea!! Thanks for that suggestion! I’m also unfamiliar with the B6 effects on the nausea. I’ll have to look into that too. Mentally, I really struggle with the nausea, it just totally does me in. All I can do is lie perfectly still-it doesn’t stop it, but it makes it less violent. I can’t go anywhere or do anything when it hits. Have you ever bothered chasing down Doctors for it? I’m really Doctored out lately and would prefer not to…..I never seem to get any solutions that actually help.
      Thanks so much for reading, commenting and subscribing!! I’m really thrilled to meet you! ❤️️Stace

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  4. I’ve never commented on any post but I feel for you I watched my daughter struggle with nausea as a result of fibro. It breaks my heart all the medicines didn’t help she said the only thing that “kinda helped” was dried ginger. She had such bad dizziness and nausea but since seeing a natural holistic nurse practioner who I call an angel! She’s a lot better with the nausea only very occasional now. Maybe try a good holistic doc that has knowledge of fibro and it’s million symptoms. Wishing you well.

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    1. Wow. Thank you, Ive. I’m honored you commented on mine! Thank you for this info. I greatly appreciate it. I have considered a Functional Medicine Doctor-but haven’t made it there yet. I just may need to make it a priority now. I’m so happy your Daughter has found some relief. Was there something specific that helped the nausea and dizziness? Like her, nothing helps me. I really appreciate your time and comments. Thank you!! ~Stace

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  5. I’ve never commented on any post but I feel for you I watched my daughter struggle with nausea as a result of fibro. It breaks my heart all the medicines didn’t help she said the only thing that “kinda helped” was dried ginger. She had such bad dizziness and nausea but since seeing a natural holistic nurse practioner who I call an angel! She’s a lot better with the nausea only very occasional now. Maybe try a good holistic doc that has knowledge of fibro and it’s million symptoms. Wishing you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have cycles of nausea also but the really bad thing about it is that it is first accompanied by an excruciating pain that I call a “gut punch” to my stomach which is followed by extreme nausea, a sea of saliva, and sweats. I keep a jar of crystalized ginger close by which seems to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry I missed your comment!! Ugh. That sounds awful 😕 I don’t get the punch in the gut, but I totally get the sweats. It’s awful. It’s so unpredictable!! I’m glad ginger helps. I use ginger sometimes, myself!!

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  7. Thank you for this post. None of my doctors could explain the nausea. Some days it’s so bad moving at all is a struggle. I do have zofran and found ginger from health food store to suck on helps. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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