10 ways I combat the nausea caused by Cushing’s disease

These tried-and-true methods have made a big difference for this writer

Noura Costany avatar

by Noura Costany |

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It hits me like a ton of bricks every single time. My stomach starts to knot together, I feel myself gagging, and I know that if I so much as breathe wrong, I’ll end up on my knees throwing up everything I’ve eaten in the past 24 hours.

The nausea I experience due to Cushing’s disease and my medications has been way too much for me to handle lately. If I push myself too hard, eat too much, eat the wrong thing, don’t eat enough, or smell something odd, I end up sick.

After working to combat this for months, I’ve come up with a few tried-and-true methods that help me face my nausea head-on.

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Being kind to yourself is key when managing Cushing’s disease

  1. I carry around things with a strong smell to make sure other bad smells can’t affect me. I often use a small, lavender-scented smelling stick I found at a grocery store, but sometimes I’ll just put a few coffee beans in a zip-close bag.
  2. While I’m a firm believer in adding foods to my meals, rather than taking them away, I don’t really have a choice in this case. I’ve eliminated alcohol from my diet, as well as fried and greasy foods. They simply affect my stomach too much on my current medications.
  3. I keep “safe foods” in my kitchen — foods I can eat no matter how I’m feeling. They do shift, which can be annoying, but it’s good to have them around. Currently, my safe foods are plums, baked cinnamon apples, and oatmeal.
  4. I used to be a hot tea person, but I’ve switched to cold drinks, which seems to help a lot. Iced tea, frozen coffees, and smoothies all tend to be OK for me to consume.
  5. Even brushing my teeth makes me gag, so I have to spread out my oral care routine over an hour. I floss my teeth, then take a 20-minute break. I brush my top teeth, then take a break. I brush my bottom teeth, break, tongue (the worst part), break, and then use mouthwash. This is the most frustrating way I combat my nausea, but it helps a lot.
  6. Whenever I feel like I’m going to throw up, I’ll rush outside and try to sit in the fresh air and breathe slowly. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes this makes a huge difference for me.
  7. In general, I feel a million times better when I’ve gotten plenty of sleep. I try to listen to my body and what it needs. If I’m tired, I rest. Simple as that.
  8. Adding ginger, lemon, cinnamon, and peppermint to my drinks or meals greatly helps with my nausea.
  9. Nausea and vomiting can cause dehydration, which can only make nausea worse. For me, the best way to combat this is by staying as hydrated as possible and consuming electrolytes.
  10. Lastly, I have to recognize that things won’t always go my way. Therefore, I carry an anti-nausea kit that contains my anti-nausea medication, a plastic bag, Tums, some crackers, water, a hair tie, my smelling stick, and a cold compress. Throwing up is never fun, but my kit makes it easier, especially when out in public.

Many of my Cushing’s symptoms come and go, but nausea has hit me the hardest. I’m still getting used to it, but these methods have made a huge difference.

Do you have any additional tips for combating nausea? Please share in the comments below! You can also follow my journey on TikTok and YouTube.

Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.


louise marshall avatar

louise marshall

Hi,I experienced nausea after my surgery for about three years. I started to feel right upper abdominal discomfort which I thought was my gallbladder since I have had a gallstone for over 30 years. So that's what it was and so I had my gallbladder removed. After a while the nausea started to get about 75% better. I still get nausea but I don't spend so much time in bed anymore. Now I am learning what to eat without feeling indigestion. Always something! I had my surgery almost 5 years ago and I am still dealing with extreme fatigue and anemia. Still having a hard time excepting my new normal, what ever that is. Good luck.

Noura Costany avatar

Noura Costany

I'm sorry, I know the journey can be so hard!! Good luck to you as well!


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