Annette lives in Orlando, Florida. She enjoys writing about health, green living, and other topics.
Nausea and Perimenopause
Are you experiencing nausea in your middle age? Are you certain that you are not pregnant? Perimenopause may be the reason for those unsettled feelings in your stomach.
Perimenopause is the period of time prior to menopause or permanent infertility. It is sometimes called the menopausal transition.
Very few doctors acknowledge a link between nausea and perimenopause. However, this symptom may affect women in their 40s as they transition towards menopause.
Older women experience nausea like young, pregnant women experience morning sickness. Headaches and fatigue often accompany an upset stomach.
Many perimenopausal symptoms are well documented: irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, brain fog, lactose intolerance, low sexual desire, and much more.
While there is little scientific evidence to link perimenopause and nausea, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence from perimenopausal women themselves. Many of these women wonder what they are experiencing, and how to alleviate the discomfort. Maybe you are one of them.
What Causes Nausea?
Since there is very little research to document the relationship between nausea and perimenopause, the cause is left to speculation.
According to one theory, the nausea results from hormone imbalances. Estrogen and progesterone, the chief female sex hormones, fluctuate during the menopausal transition. This can lead to nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive problems.
Stress and Fatigue
Another theory suggests that stress and fatigue cause perimenopausal nausea. Stressful situations at home or work contribute to fatigue. They can also cause motion sickness-like symptoms that lead to nausea.
Some studies link fatigue to mixed brain signals that overstimulate the eyes and ears. This, too, can cause feelings of nausea.
Nutritionists and holistic practitioners think diet is the culprit. They say that the wrong foods can cause shifting hormones that contribute to feelings of nausea. Whether the cause is food, hormones, or both, healthy eating can eliminate or reduce many perimenopausal symptoms.
The Best Foods for Nausea
Healthy eating and regular exercise are good ways to manage nausea and other perimenopausal symptoms.
Tell Me What to Eat as I Approach Menopause, a book by Elaine Magee, discusses the best foods and drinks for a perimenopausal diet.
Not only do they relieve the symptoms of perimenopause, but they also promote weight management and heart health. To manage nausea, Magee offers the following tips:
- Eat more soy-based products. Soy and soy isoflavones support a broad range of perimenopausal symptoms, including nausea.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods contain plant estrogens called phytoestrogens that may alleviate nausea.
- Replace bad fats with good fats. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and nuts, may ease perimenopausal symptoms.
- Eliminate caffeinated drinks. Replace coffee and soft drinks with water and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices.
- Avoid greasy, fatty, and sugary foods. They can wreak havoc on your hormones, leading to nausea and other perimenopausal symptoms.
- Eliminate the large meals. Instead of eating three large meals, eat several smaller meals throughout the day.
- Exercise on a regular basis. Physical activity combats stress and fatigue, which may contribute to nausea.
Other Ways to Treat Nausea
To prevent morning nausea, lactose intolerance, and other perimenopausal symptoms, some women avoid milk and dairy products. Others limit foods and drinks that contain caffeine, iron, and zinc.
Crackers and dry toast can help women manage nausea in the morning. Herbal teas can also help. Try dandelion, ginger, licorice, and peppermint teas.
Some women benefit from vitamin B6, vitamin E, and mineral supplements like Amberen. For others, herbal supplements like evening primrose and soy isoflavones are helpful. Since supplements can interact with medications, women should check with their doctor before taking vitamins and herbs for perimenopausal symptoms.
Some women need a prescription or over-the-counter medications to treat their nausea. Others may benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Chronic nausea and vomiting requires medical attention to rule out other, potentially serious conditions.
The information presented in this article is not intended as health or medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional.
How do you cope with nausea and related symptoms? Leave a comment below, and join the conversation.
- 34 Menopause Symptoms. (2013) "Fatigue and Nausea." 34 Menopause Symptoms. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- Magee, Elaine. (September 20, 2002) "Managing Menopause Symptoms Through Diet." Medicinenet.com. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- Mayo Clinic. (April 20, 2013) "Perimenopause." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- Walker, Nancy. (April 4, 2013). "What is the Connection Between Perimenopause and Nausea?" wiseGEEK. Retrieved Jun 12, 2013.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Annette R. Smith
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on May 24, 2019:
Hi, Paula. Thank you for your comment!
According to the Mayo Clinic, plant estrogens can help manage menopause symptoms. One type, isoflavones, are found in soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes.
Also from the Mayo Clinic: "Hypothyroidism is generally treated with synthetic thyroid hormone - and soy has long been thought to interfere with the body's ability to absorb the medication."
I'm not a health care provider - just sharing what I've experienced and/or researched during my own perimenopause. If you have questions about the effects of soy on menopause symptoms and/or thyroid conditions, please talk to your doctor.
Again, thanks for your interest. Have a great weekend!
Paula C66 on May 23, 2019:
But arent soy foods affecting the thyroid? arent they too estrogenic? From I have read, soy foods can have an estrogenic effect (including phytoestrogen foods in general) and therefore should be avoided for concerns on affecting the thyroid. I am confused....
dr hobson my dr now. hes gonna help me. on December 29, 2018:
I have perrimanpause I do age 47. And was using walker and now wheel chair. And on new meds. And yes Having spasms a lot. Had pomergranite bubbly juice today. And I get sick in bed at night. And my legs heavy still. And mom has to get legs out of bed for me. Day and nite
on new meds now. one to.sleep.and utr. i wonder why i lost my. walking was it that neurotin. and got off med and dojlnt on December 24, 2018:
All tests normal. Even blood work er Sunday day before Xmas even. And they didn't want to keep me hospital. Since med made me not walk. Both ways by ambulance no sirens. And was nice to see bryn mawr pa night. Can someone tell me can neurotin make me loose walking? And make legs weak and make good vitamins go away.
julie rawls urg found out med i was on.takes care of tingling toes feet. on December 16, 2018:
And I want to get my brain back. Hypnosis to make me walk again. Don't understand why my walking went bad. I got walker. And I was walking well before pt. And now gone down hill. And scared to.go out the front door to walker and or wheel chair. And mad that med I was on that made me sick a lot and walk funny. And made me walk drunk to. And I don't even drink. Urge. I did see penny Hanson and she made me Cd to calm me down. 30 mind long. And she can help anyone. She has officies Florida to. Ya
i saw penny hanson today hypnosis and had cd made for me only on December 15, 2018:
And penny says stress made me have probs. And told me what to do. Cd made during session. Shes in ft Myers Florida and pa. And helps stress and. A lot other things. And can add more to Cd for more probs you want hypnonsis. Penny Hanson her name. And got conversion brain problem. My Dr. Dr g. Says so. Dr Reid don't know. Dr g says penny's good she is. And shes going thru manpause. And my period over I hope. Age 47. I am I want to be in manpause asap. Julie rawls usa
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on December 14, 2018:
Merry Christmas, Julie. Thank you for your comments here, and I hope you find some pain relief soon. Blessings, Annette
julie rawls on December 13, 2018:
Why are my legs heavy and hard to move. And make me fall down? And. Used to walk well. And medication was no good and having fear. A lot. And want to be with some one all day. Aniexty. Happy holidays
julie rawls usa how can i stop. spasms i get them when i nap on December 07, 2018:
Spasms I get bug me and make me tired. Mornings are worse. And I wonder if pt physical therapy made me have probs. And walking got worse. I had man for pt. Can quinine help spasms. I hatey legs. Used to walk well. My birthday June its really July 4th Juncee 28th I have it then. Dana friend takes tramadol. I want cell salts
julie rawls i ask drs why my legs heavy? perrimanpause? on December 07, 2018:
And my feet tingle like mad for months now. I hate spasms mornings. Can it be from getting off med. I am off it more than 3 weeks now. Gabypentin. Can it leave me with side effects when got off it? And I did have mris 3 past week. And once fell on floor and sat on foot my body was heavy. My legs didn't ever feel this heavy. And cant go to places no handicapped things at college and friends house. I used to be okay walking. I think pt gave me walker to walk. And now stuck with.walker my friend me one. Blue pt gave back. And I did walk in pt. Okay and did walk to pool and moms pool. And pt guy messed me up. Became deadicated to walker. And legs are not well. And perrimanpause I am in.
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on December 06, 2018:
Hi, Julie. I’m so sorry you’re having these health issues. I really hope you find some relief soon.
My husband is dealing with painful back issues (and taking some of the same meds you were prescribed). He was forced to retire early because of this. He has had surgery, physical therapy, and several other pain management therapies - including classes on how to live with the pain. Mostly through the VA.
Thank you for reading my article and leaving your comments. Again, I pray you find some relief soon. Blessings, Annette
julie rawls. on December 05, 2018:
I have been typing here past days. I wish my body lower was not so heavy. It makes me not bend well middle back. And I have to walk slow. My foots swollen don't know why. And hard putting shoe on. My mom says going funny way. And I sit walker and try to.walk like I did before. And I am. Off meds now. Gabypetin was on.
thank you annette. i am mad at pt person and want to cry on December 04, 2018:
Physical therapy. I walked in there no walker. And then got one. Now relying on it to go out. Grey older walker no seat. And walker by drive. I was just having probs not going off curbs. Places. Was doing okay. And now have fallen a lot. And leg bugging me. And my periods gone I hope. Me age 47." And how long does my perri last? July 2018 started perri. I saw clubs I can join to help me
Was in one facebook perri club. I don't want to have my body like this anymore. Still mad at pt giving me wheel I don't need. Willaim pt person. I want to get off walker. Had a lot of falls. Heavy legs. I did ask drs and nothing to tell me
what do i take for spasms. i get them mornings. on December 04, 2018:
And in perrimanpause. And I hate when I nap spasms. Do I need more milk? And dark chocolate for them. I did go to drs and they tried to help me out. How can I stop relying on my walker. Went to pt to walk better. And when got walker my legs got heavy. And now cant go with out walker. And wish didn't want walker was walking okay before pt. And now spasms and such. Perrimapause me age 47 and if I didn't get walker would be walking still. Not walker. And medication I was on made me weak yes?
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on December 04, 2018:
Thank you for your comments. In my experience, and from what I've read, restless legs are common in women going through "the change." Apart from that, numbness or tingling in the legs are sometimes associated with back issues. I'm not a physician, so I can't give you medical advice. It sounds like you've seen a doctor, chiropractor, neurologist, and other healthcare professionals. I hope you find some answers soon. God bless you!
i am new here today and want answers to heavy legs and aasked my chripractor and dr neurolgy and no answers i got and made mr mad on December 03, 2018:
I have 2 use pillow between legs. And rolling over is hard to do. Laying on my back hard to do. Legs want be up and moving on their own. I did take neurotin 3 weeks. And got off it. Hated side effects. And some I heard can be permanent. I did take it summer a bit. And got off it. 300mgs I was on mornings. I didn't take it lunch or bed time. I had my mris 3 of them. And egg leg test. And blood work. Drs came back okay. B12 and they didn't know I have perrimaupause or not didn't say. Help. And hard to lay in bed my legs got spasms to. Mornings have spasms had 3 today. When in bed before got up. Hard to get into bed with heavy legs. And when I did pt neurlogy Dr wanted me to go. Did okay I walked into the pt place. And walker he gave me to walk with. Now cant walk to car with out walker. And feet are heavy to. Toes tingling to a lot since June or before. Age 47 and my period is not been here this month.
hello i have been having heavy legs alot in perrimapause. and tingling toes to on December 03, 2018:
How do I make it go away. All tests legs and lower back are fine. And mris don't know 2 are good. Back is not. I do get sick to when in bed. Mucus I have that. And dizziness to. And hard to get socks and pants on and shoes. Heavyness in legs lower below knees
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on April 24, 2018:
Hi, Regina. Thank you for sharing your perimenopause experiences here. Nausea is no fun. I hope you find a way to eliminate/cope with the nausea, migraine, and other symptoms. All the best, Annette
Regina Simpson on April 24, 2018:
I have been nausea for about 2 weeks. I have had some migraines but I have noticed that without the headache I have had nausea. I am somewhere in menopause . A couple of years ago I had dizziness and headaches. The doctor thinks that was related to menopause. I haven't contacted my doctor yet. I have not had my period since Dec 31, 2017 but I did have spotting on Feb 25, 2018 but nothing since then. I also did have some pains in my stomach not bad though. Perimenopause ? Maybe.
I have not had the typically menopause symptoms....just don't know what to think or if I should contact my doctor.
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on August 18, 2017:
Hi, Vanessa! I've had to cut way back on consuming milk, cheese, pudding ... almost anything with milk in it. I've found that nuts really bother me now, too. If you find a good remedy for perimenopause nausea, please come back and share it here!
Vanessa on August 18, 2017:
I have had so much nausea recently and nothing really works!
What can I try next?
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on July 10, 2013:
You're welcome, Michelle. I'm so glad you stopped by!
Michelle Liew from Singapore on July 10, 2013:
Thanks for this, Annette. The most important thing would be to keep ourselves healthy.
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on June 18, 2013:
Hello, MsDora. Thank you for reading. I was not aware of a connection either, until I started experiencing nausea and other perimenopause symptoms. I learned a lot through my research, too, and I'm happy to share.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 18, 2013:
Thanks for addressing this issue. Didn't realize that there was a link between perimenopause and nausea. You gave very good and helpful information.
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on June 13, 2013:
I am glad you found my article, Abby. Your comment is such an encouragement! I started experiencing nausea a few months ago, after I turned 47. It prompted my research into nausea and other perimenopause symptoms. I am happy to share what I learned, and I hope the information proves helpful to you.
Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 13, 2013:
Great hub, Annette. Thank you so much for this. I accidentally found it through Randi, but I'm so glad I did. I have been going through some nausea these last few months, and I have sworn I was pregnant (at 46) many times because of it. LOL. I'm going to use some of your advice for sure and check out the book you mentioned. I appreciate you! :-)
Annette R. Smith (author) from Ocala, Florida on June 12, 2013:
Hi, Randi. I am dealing with the nausea, headaches, and lactose intolerance associated with perimenopause. Some of the natural remedies seem to help -- along with healthier eating and daily exercise. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and the votes, shares, and pin.
Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on June 12, 2013:
Great article about an important topic. You have treated this with the reapect it deserves. I suffered from migraine headaches, which in turn caused unbelievable nausea. No one connected the migraines with menopause until they stopped suddenly. Guess when? Thak you for this article. Voted up, useful and interesting! Will share and pin!