What is your current activity level?
🧍‍♂️Sedentary
🚶 Moderately active
🏃 Very active
This will help us personalize your experience
Blog
>

Does IBS Cause Nausea? How To Prevent And Manage Discomfort

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disruption of the interaction between the gut and brain and can cause several digestive symptoms, including nausea, bloating, and changes in stool.
  • Several ways to manage nausea related to IBS include keeping a food diary to track which foods trigger nausea, following a low-FODMAP diet, learning to manage stress, and taking IBS medications. 
  • Working with a registered dietitian specializing in IBS can help you find long-term relief from nausea.

Nausea can be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or another condition that sometimes occurs with IBS, such as GERD (a more serious form of acid reflux).

IBS is a chronic condition, meaning it doesn’t go away.

However, symptoms and flare-ups may come and go.

Diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medications and learning to manage stress, may help your nausea related to IBS. 

Read on to learn how IBS causes nausea and start using our evidence-based tips for managing this symptom. 

{{splash}}

Does IBS Cause Nausea?

IBS is a disorder of the gastrointestinal system that is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including nausea. 

A recent study found that women with IBS are more likely to have nausea than men.

The study demonstrated that, on average, men with IBS have nausea once every two weeks, while women with IBS have nausea weekly.

The length of the nausea episodes also differed. For men, nausea lasted about 30 minutes, while women had nausea for almost two hours. 

Causes of Nausea in IBS

IBS is a complicated disorder, and healthcare professionals do not fully understand all of its aspects. 

It’s known that there is a problem with communication between the gut and the brain, which makes the intestines more sensitive and changes how the digestive muscles move food through the system. 

The digestive system also has more inflammation in people with IBS.

However, IBS doesn’t damage the intestines.

Gastroesophageal disorder (GERD) is another digestive condition that people with IBS commonly have.

It happens when acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus and causes heartburn and other symptoms like nausea. 

Other Symptoms of IBS

Along with nausea, IBS causes other symptoms that affect the digestive tract.

The most common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Bloating.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • White mucus in the school.
  • Feeling like you can’t complete a bowel movement. 

People with IBS can vary between having normal bowel movements and constipation or diarrhea.

Depending on what your stool pattern tends to be, your healthcare provider may diagnose you with a certain type of IBS.

IBS With Diarrhea (IBS-D)

IBS with diarrhea is when more than a quarter of your stools are loose or watery or less than a quarter of your stools are hard or lumpy on days when you have at least one abnormal bowel movement.

IBS With Constipation (IBS-C)

IBS with constipation is when more than a quarter of your stools are hard or lumpy, and less than a quarter of your stools are loose or watery on days when you have at least one abnormal bowel movement.

IBS With Mixed Bowel Habits (IBS-M)

Mixed IBS is when your stools vary between more than a quarter being hard or lumpy and more than a quarter being loose or watery on days when you have at least one abnormal bowel movement.

Tips For Managing Nausea In IBS

IBS symptoms, including nausea and abdominal pain, can significantly impact quality of life. 

If you are struggling with nausea from IBS, below are some tips for how to manage it. 

{{local}}

Identify Trigger Foods 

Everyone with IBS has different foods they are sensitive to.

Identifying foods that trigger your nausea is an important strategy for managing nausea. 

Consider keeping a detailed food diary to help you track your food intake and compare it to your nausea episodes.

Take notes about what foods, beverages, and supplements you take, when you consume them, andwhat symptoms you experience.

By being consistent with this, you may start to notice trends on which foods trigger nausea.

Once you know your triggers, you can avoid them and select foods that don’t trigger your nausea.

Try Low-FODMAP Diet 

A low-FODMAP diet reduces foods that contain hard-to-digest carbohydrates, known as FODMAPS.

If you have IBS, your digestive tract may have trouble digesting these foods.

Consider following the low-FODMAP diet to see if your symptoms reduce. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, some foods high in FODMAPs include:

  • Fruits such as apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, mango, nectarines, pears, plums, and watermelon, or juice containing any of these fruits.
  • Canned fruit in natural fruit juice, or large amounts of fruit juice or dried fruit.
  • Vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic and garlic salts, lentils, mushrooms, onions, and sugar snap or snow peas.
  • Dairy products such as milk and milk products.
  • Wheat and rye products.
  • Honey and foods with high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Products, including candy and gum, with sweeteners ending in “–ol,” such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol.

Practice Stress Management Techniques

People with IBS often have anxiety or depression.

Because IBS is a disorder of the gut-brain interaction, learning stress management techniques may help reduce your IBS symptoms.

While not specific to nausea, one study found that learning mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques helped decrease digestive symptoms related to IBS. 

Other therapies medical providers often recommend for people with IBS include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Learning to change your thoughts and behavior patterns may improve your IBS symptoms.
  • Gut-directed hypnotherapy: Having a therapist use hypnosis to put you into a relaxed or focused state may help improve IBS symptoms.
  • Relaxation training: Learning relaxation techniques can help you relax your body and reduce stress. 

Take Medications

Your medical provider may prescribe medication for your IBS based on your stool symptoms.

If you tend to have diarrhea, your provider may prescribe medications to help reduce diarrhea.

On the other hand, if your stools lean towards constipation, your medical provider may prescribe fiber supplements, laxatives, and medications to help you have regular bowel movements. 

If your nausea is severe, talk to your medical provider about medications specific to treating nausea. 

Consult Your Medical Provider

If your nausea is not relieved by following these tips, it’s recommended you talk with your medical provider

They can do an assessment to determine if another condition is causing your nausea.

Several conditions can cause nausea, and some of them require medical treatment. 

If your nausea is severe and causes you to frequently vomit, it’s very important to stay hydrated by drinking water and fluids that contain electrolytes (fruit juices, sports drinks, Pedialyte).  

Signs that you need medical care include:

  • Vomiting longer than 24 hours.
  • Not being able to keep fluids down for 12 hours or more.
  • Vomiting three or more times in one day.
  • Haven’t urinated for eight or more hours.
  • Headache or stiff neck.

{{splash}}

Other Causes of Nausea

Nausea is a common digestive concern many people experience.

Several things can make you feel nauseous, including:

  • Food intolerances or allergies.
  • Food poisoning.
  • GERD.
  • Medication side effects.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Migraine headaches.
  • Appendicitis.
  • Intestinal blockage.
  • Stomach ulcers.

Prevention

IBS is a chronic condition that requires life-long management.

While you may not be able to prevent all episodes of nausea, learning ways to reduce it by the foods you eat, learning stress management techniques, and taking medications can help keep nausea from affecting your quality of life. 

Takeaway

IBS is a complex condition that happens when your gut and brain have difficulty communicating, causing the intestines to become sensitive, which may change gut motility (how the muscles move food through the digestive tract).

Nausea is a common symptom of IBS.

Learning what foods trigger your nausea, following a low-FODMAP diet, learning stress management, and taking IBS medication can help you find relief from nausea. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

A registered dietitian specializing in IBS can help you determine foods that may be causing your symptoms and help you discover ways to feel better.

By getting to know your personal preferences, your dietitian can help you develop meal plans that meet your nutritional needs while not triggering nausea. 

Find a dietitian through Nourish—all appointments are online and covered by most insurance providers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does IBS nausea feel like?

IBS nausea can feel like a sensation of queasiness or discomfort in your stomach.

Some nausea may be mild, while severe nausea can make you feel like vomiting.

People with IBS can experience varying degrees of nausea, and the feeling may come and go.

Can IBS make you physically sick?

IBS can cause you to be physically sick and vomit or have diarrhea or constipation.

While IBS is a condition of the digestive system, its symptoms can influence overall well-being.

If you're experiencing persistent symptoms, it’s recommended to seek guidance from your healthcare provider.

What can IBS be mistaken for?

IBS symptoms can sometimes be mistaken for other conditions that affect the digestive tract.

Conditions with similar symptoms include inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and certain infections.

If you suspect you have IBS or are experiencing digestive issues, consulting with a medical provider can bring a correct diagnosis.

References

View all references
Nourish has strict sourcing policies and prioritizes primary sources, including medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about our medical review process and editorial guidelines.

See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish

  • Covered by insurance
  • Virtual sessions
  • Personalized care
Schedule an appointment

Frequently asked questions

No items found.

Find a virtual dietitian in {State}

Find a dietitian near you

Covered by insurance.
Question 1

Are you more thirsty than usual?

Question 1

Are you urinating more than usual?

Question 1

Is your blood sugar level consistently high?

Question 1

Do you experience extreme hunger or fatigue?

Question 1

Do you have blurry vision or numbness and tingling in your hands and feet?

Question 1

Do you experience frequent infections or slow-healing wounds?

Question 1

Do you have a family history of diabetes?

Your Result

Your results are in!

While you don’t seem to be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes based on this quiz, please contact your healthcare provider with any concerns. If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Your Result

Your results are in!

You should seek guidance from your healthcare provider about the possibility of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Test
OR
Oregon
38.547134, -122.816383
Charleston
SC
South Carolina
32.7884363, -79.9399309
Paterson
NJ
New Jersey
40.916611, -74.172188
Palmdale
CA
California
34.576469, -118.116096
Lancaster
CA
California
34.697472, -118.144524
Murfreesboro
TN
Tennessee
35.845619, -86.390266
Santa Rosa
CA
California
38.547134, -122.816383
Eugene
OR
Oregon
44.052151, -123.091187
Shreveport
LA
Louisiana
32.523659, -93.763504
Clarksville
TN
Tennessee
36.527279, -87.360336
Cary
NC
North Carolina
35.7882893, -78.7812081
Salem
OR
Oregon
44.944099, -123.040283
Newport News
VA
Virginia
37.087082, -76.473015
Chattanooga
TN
Tennessee
35.0457219, -85.3094883
Akron
OH
Ohio
41.0842496, -81.6777863
Providence
RI
Rhode Island
41.823990, -71.412834
Tallahassee
FL
Florida
30.438255, -84.280731
Peoria
AZ
Arizona
33.7528919, -112.4902079
Sioux Falls
SD
South Dakota
43.536388, -96.731667
Yonkers
NY
New York
40.930790, -73.898293
Fayetteville
NC
North Carolina
35.052666, -78.878357
Rochester
NY
New York
43.156578, -77.608849
McKinney
TX
Texas
33.214561, -96.614456
Moreno Valley
CA
California
33.920891, -117.261162
Fremont
CA
California
37.548271, -121.988571
Frisco
TX
Texas
33.150673, -96.823608
Spokane
WA
Washington
47.658779, -117.426048
Boise
ID
Idaho
43.6008183, -116.2421086
Port St. Lucie
FL
Florida
27.273270, -80.342148
Irving
TX
Texas
32.814018, -96.948891
Winston-Salem
NC
North Carolina
36.096260, -80.243736
St. Petersburg
FL
Florida
27.773056, -82.639999
Laredo
TX
Texas
27.507130, -99.507500
Jersey City
NJ
New Jersey
,
Buffalo
NY
New York
42.8867166, -78.8783922
St. Louis
MO
Missouri
38.627003, -90.199402
Chandler
AZ
Arizona
33.3062031, -111.841185
Durham
NC
North Carolina
35.994034, -78.898621
Lincoln
NE
Nebraska
40.806862, -96.681679
Pittsburgh
PA
Pennsylvania
40.440624, -79.995888
Greensboro
NC
North Carolina
36.072701, -79.793900
St. Paul
MN
Minnesota
44.954445, -93.091301
Newark
NJ
New Jersey
40.735657, -74.172363
Lexington
KY
Kentucky
38.040585, -84.503716
Stockton
CA
California
37.957703, -121.290779
Honolulu
HI
Hawaii
21.306944, -157.858337
Cleveland
OH
Ohio
41.499321, -81.694359
Arlington
TX
Texas
32.7355816, -97.1071186
Oakland
CA
California
37.804363, -122.271111
Long Beach
CA
California
33.770050, -118.193741
Raleigh
NC
North Carolina
35.779591, -78.638176
Omaha
NE
Nebraska
41.256538, -95.934502
Colorado Springs
CO
Colorado
38.833881, -104.821365
Fresno
CA
California
36.737797, -119.787125
Albuquerque
NM
New Mexico
35.084385, -106.650421
Memphis
TN
Tennessee
35.117500, -89.971107
Washington DC
WA DC
Washington, DC
38.889805, -77.009056
Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.169941, -115.139832
Seattle
WA
Washington
47.606209, -122.332069
Charlotte
NC
North Carolina
35.2272086, -80.8430827
Sacramento
CA
California
38.590576, -121.489906
Richmond
VA
Virginia
37.540726, -77.436050
Surprise
AZ
Arizona
33.629002, -112.330170
Mesa
AZ
Arizona
33.415184, -111.831474
Louisville
KY
Kentucky
38.252666, -85.758453
Des Moines
IA
Iowa
41.586834, -93.624962
Lakewood
CO
Colorado
39.704708, -105.081375
Kansas City
KS
Kansas
39.112701, -94.626801
Reno
NV
Nevada
39.529633, -119.813805
Tacoma
WA
Washington
47.258728, -122.465973
Aurora
CO
Colorado
39.7405111, -104.830994
Oxnard
CA
California
34.197659, -119.175949
Amarillo
TX
Texas
35.221996, -101.831299
Henderson
NV
Nevada
36.039524, -114.981720
Vancouver
WA
Washington
45.633331, -122.599998
Gilbert
AZ
Arizona
33.352825, -111.789024
San Bernardino
CA
California
34.115784, -117.302399
Columbus
GA
Georgia
27.800583, -97.396378
Hayward
CA
California
37.668819, -122.080795
Milwaukee
WI
Wisconsin
43.038902, -87.906471
Lubbock
TX
Texas
33.576698, -101.855072
Norfolk
VA
Virginia
36.850769, -76.285873
Tulsa
OK
Oklahoma
36.153980, -95.992775
Garland
TX
Texas
32.914341, -96.636559
Fort Lauderdale
FL
Florida
26.124161, -80.143593
Tucson
AZ
Arizona
32.248814, -110.987419
Salt Lake City
UT
Utah
40.760780, -111.891045
Corona
CA
California
33.875670, -117.568840
Madison
WI
Wisconsin
43.073051, -89.401230
Huntsville
AL
Alabama
34.7014286, -86.6597495
Kansas City
MO
Missouri
39.099728, -94.578568
Irvine
CA
California
33.684566, -117.826508
Chula Vista
CA
California
32.640072, -117.084038
Denton
TX
Texas
33.215530, -97.132446
Aurora
IL
Illinois
41.7571701, -88.3147539
Baton Rouge
LA
Louisiana
30.4494155, -91.1869659
Columbus
OH
Ohio
39.961178, -82.998795
Baltimore
MD
Maryland
39.2908816, -76.610759
Detroit
MI
Michigan
42.331429, -83.045753
Chesapeake
VA
Virginia
36.7183708, -76.2466798
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Birmingham
AL
Alabama
33.5206824, -86.8024326
Scottsdale
AZ
Arizona
33.501324, -111.925278
Cincinnati
OH
Ohio
39.103700, -84.513610
North Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.201946, -115.120216
Riverside
CA
California
33.980602, -117.375496
Plano
TX
Texas
33.019844, -96.698883
Minneapolis
MN
Minnesota
44.977753, -93.265015
Salinas
CA
California
,
Anaheim
CA
California
33.836594, -117.914299
Springfield
MO
Missouri
37.208958, -93.292297
Fort Wayne
IN
Indiana
41.077469, -85.137489
Phoenix
AZ
Arizona
33.448376, -112.074036
Bakersfield
CA
California
35.3738712, -119.0194639
Garden Grove
CA
California
33.774269, -117.937996
Anchorage
AK
Alaska
61.2163129, -149.894852
Indianapolis
IN
Indiana
39.768402, -86.158066
Nashville
TN
Tennessee
36.162663, -86.781601
Tempe
AZ
Arizona
33.425522, -111.941254
Mobile
AL
Alabama
30.695366, -88.039894
New Orleans
LA
Louisiana
29.951065, -90.071533
Knoxville
TN
Tennessee
35.960636, -83.920738
Grand Rapids
MI
Michigan
42.963360, -85.668083
Fontana
CA
California
34.102890, -117.435760
Elk Grove
CA
California
38.418129, -121.393257
Cape Coral
FL
Florida
26.5625742, -81.9438802
Grand Prairie
TX
Texas
32.745499, -97.003532
Fort Collins
CO
Colorado
40.588970, -105.082458
Killeen
TX
Texas
31.117119, -97.727798
Modesto
CA
California
37.639095, -120.996880
Oklahoma City
OK
Oklahoma
35.468491, -97.521263
Santa Ana
CA
California
33.745571, -117.867836
Ontario
CA
California
34.063343, -117.650887
Brownsville
TX
Texas
25.9015688, -97.4984005
Montgomery
AL
Alabama
32.379223, -86.307739
Hialeah
FL
Florida
25.857595, -80.278107
Springfield
MA
Massachusetts
42.102051, -72.585762
Toledo
OH
Ohio
41.652805, -83.537865
Pembroke Pines
FL
Florida
26.007765, -80.296257
Overland Park
KS
Kansas
38.974819, -94.683601
Little Rock
AR
Arkansas
34.746483, -92.289597
Glendale
CA
California
34.142509, -118.255074
Roseville
CA
California
38.752125, -121.288010
Wichita
KS
Kansas
37.687176, -97.330055
Huntington Beach
CA
California
33.659485, -117.998802
Augusta
GA
Georgia
33.4709714, -81.9748429
Worcester
MA
Massachusetts
42.271389, -71.798889
Virginia Beach
VA
Virginia
36.852924, -75.977982
Oceanside
CA
California
33.1958696, -117.3794834
Santa Clarita
CA
California
34.456043, -118.571335
Philadelphia
PA
Pennsylvania
39.952583, -75.165222
Corpus Christi
TX
Texas
27.800583, -97.396378
Portland
OR
Oregon
45.512230, -122.658722
Denver
CO
Colorado
39.739235, -104.990250
Boston
MA
Massachusetts
42.3554334, -71.060511
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Chicago
IL
Illinois
41.8755616, -87.6244212
Orlando
FL
Florida
28.538336, -81.379234
Jacksonville
FL
Florida
30.332184, -81.655647
Tampa
FL
Florida
27.950575, -82.457176
Long Island
NY
New York
40.757801, -73.940033
Queens
NY
New York
40.728226, -73.794853
Bronx
NY
New York
40.8466508, -73.8785937
Staten Island
NY
New York
40.643501, -74.076202
Brooklyn
NY
New York
40.6526006, -73.9497211
New York
NY
New York
40.712776, -74.005974
San Jose
CA
California
37.342205, -121.851990
San Francisco
CA
California
37.774929, -122.419418
San Diego
CA
California
32.834686, -117.130775
Los Angeles
CA
California
34.052235, -118.243683
El Paso
TX
Texas
31.761877, -106.485023
San Antonio
TX
Texas
29.387428, -98.496574
Dallas
TX
Texas
32.776665, -96.796989
Fort Worth
TX
Texas
32.755489, -97.330765
Houston
TX
Texas
29.760427, -95.369804
Austin
TX
Texas
30.2711286, -97.7436995

Book an appointment with a {category} dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Book an appointment with an online dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Find a

dietitian covered by insurance

No items found.
Disordered eating
Weight loss medication
Mental Health