Sometimes, it may be that we eat too much and that causes nausea after eating. Other times, however, we may feel nauseous after eating a regular meal, or even worse, experience vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea after eating; which is not only annoying but can become worrisome, if it is something that is repeated often.

Many causes may be involved, some related to the food itself, others to a viral or bacterial infection, hormonal causes, or even to underlying digestive problems that may be unknown. 

  • Food poisoning: symptoms include nausea, but also vomiting as well as diarrhea in some cases. They can be almost instant or take a few hours, or even days, but all occur after eating contaminated food, which has been improperly handled, not properly refrigerated and/or reheated, or that has come in contact with raw meat, fish, or poultry. 
  • Food allergies and intolerances: there are a lot of foods that can trigger gastrointestinal and, in some cases, extra gastrointestinal symptoms as well. Many times people do not know they are allergic or intolerant to certain foods until their quality of life has been severely affected. 

Some of the most common foods that cause these symptoms are nuts, shellfish, eggs, milk, gluten, and even some additives present in processed foods. 

  • Hormonal changes: these mainly occur during pregnancy, which may induce the feeling of nausea at any time of the day, but most commonly in the morning or after a meal. It usually begins in the second month of pregnancy and although they are not harmful to the baby or the mother, they can be annoying. So, if this is your case, it may be good to consult your obstetrician. 
  • Gastrointestinal problems: several diseases, conditions, or problems associated with our digestive system can cause a nauseating feeling after a meal, including persistent acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, and gallbladder disease. If you suffer from some of these conditions, or if you think this could be the cause of your constant nausea, it’s best to check with your doctor.
  • Viral or bacterial infection: in these cases, the symptoms tend to appear later as compared to food poisoning, but they are problematic and annoying as well and may include fever, muscle aches, and joint pain, affecting your whole body. The most common are stomach flu and bacterial gastroenteritis, caused by several types of microorganisms.

Asked by: Angela P.

Registered dietitian-nutritionist and Writer

With a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, Eva is a dietitian-nutritionist who is passionate about everything related to food and nutrition.
She is always in constant search of knowledge and loves to write about topics related to food, nutrition, healthy eating habits, and tips for a healthy lifestyle, making knowledge about food and nutrition education available to everyone, helping them to have better health.

She is also a chef and has experience in recipe creation and workshops on healthy cooking.