Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nausea Treatments

Recently, I'd had several days of moderate to severe nausea, costing me two days off my job, and plenty of discomfort and distraction besides.  

When it first hit me on Monday morning, I thought perhaps it was something I ate, but soon I realized that my husband ate exactly what I did, and he was doing fine.  

Then I reflected on any recent medication changes.  There was a change to my asthma medications a few weeks ago, but why would symptoms come on so suddenly and severely, several weeks after making the switch?  After several days of misery and trying to work, I called my allergist to see if I could get prescriptions for my old medications and switch back.  Due to phone tag and fibro fog, I had't actually gotten the chance to speak directly with the doctor and discuss anything with him, so the change never occurred.  After the weekend had passed, the nurse called back and asked about my status.  I was feeling a little more sensible by then, and retracted my request to switch back to the old meds.  I know my body doesn't like medication changes, even slight ones, so I thought I'd train my body to accept the new meds, rather than stir up trouble and possibly risk new symptoms to go through again.

For the moment, it seems that, whatever the cause, the nausea is now mostly under control, with some more typically minor waxing and waning here and there.

Last Friday, however, I saw my Fibromyalgia doctor (a neurologist) and asked him specifically about the nausea.  He told me that nausea is not a typical symptom included with Fibromyalgia, and wondered along with me about what could have caused it.  

Later on during the appointment, when I asked about B12 shots or nasal sprays and whether it was worth considering, I mentioned that I take a Super B-Complex supplement every morning after breakfast, along with several other supplements.  He said that B vitamins, specifically, can make him nauseous, so he takes his just before eating, which helps him.  I'm not sure why this is the case, but I can certainly try taking my supplements just before breakfast, rather than just after, to see if it helps.  So far, so good, I guess.  (By the way, he said I should be getting plenty of B from my supplements and food and shouldn't need injections or special sprays or anything.)

He also gave me some other helpful information about how to treat nausea.  

Although medical marijuana is not legal here in Illinois, he does know that studies have shown it to be effective for reducing the kind of severe nausea and vomiting that chemotherapy causes for cancer patients.  He also knew of several patients of his who have told him that the use it (illegally) and that it helps them, though it affects their sensibilities.  

Something I could do whenever I feel bothersome nausea coming on is use an acupressure technique that tends to help.  Basically, dig a couple of fingers into the middle of the underside of your wrist and firmly massage the area.  Either wrist works, or you can switch between both.  I am going to have to give that a try the next time I need it.

Lastly, he mentioned ginger as an effective nausea relief treatment.  You can take it in the form of ginger beer (yummy!), ginger capsules, or candied ginger.  He mentioned an Asian company called Dynasty that makes candied ginger and sells it in a yellow box.  I went to a newly opened Whole Foods after work last Friday, and spotted some candied ginger available in bulk, so I bagged a bit of it and bought it.  It's just plain ginger, in cubes, covered in cane sugar.  I tried one on the drive home - boy was it strong!  I couldn't imagine eating these as a snack, but as a treatment, I could see how the flavor could be distracting, at least.  I have yet to test their effectiveness on my nausea.

Armed with all this knowledge, I feel ready for the next bout of nausea.  Bring it on, FibroBeast!  You may have won the first few battles, but I'll beat you next time.