Nausea and Ankylosing Spondylitis: My Experience
Last updated: March 2022
Ankylosing spondylitis isn't just aches and pains. It’s a lot of things, and for different people, it's a lot of different things.
For me, it's pains and aches, stiffness, spasms, fatigue, and nausea. Along with other symptoms that I'm forgetting, oh like brain fog. Add brain fog to the list!
With AS, I get horrible bouts of nausea. Sometimes it's hard to know why I feel so nauseous.
It could be from my injections. Sometimes I will feel nauseous for a few days after I inject. Sometimes I will not. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories usually make me feel so nauseous! Even when I take a stomach protection tablet. Some pain relief meds make me feel nauseous - again, I will take a stomach protection tablet. I always question myself: is the nausea worth the little break from pain?
What makes me feel the worst is the debilitating feeling of nausea that comes with fatigue. When this happens, even lying down is difficult. Everything is.
How I try to help myself
I feel like I completely run out of energy, if I stand up, walk or do anything I feel like I am going to pass out and vomit all at the same time. When I'm feeling like this, I know that if I eat something it will help. But what can I eat? When I am feeling this nauseous eating is the last thing I want to do. But I force myself, usually with carby food such as toast and a cup of tea. This will not fix me, but it will make me feel less awful for a little while. I will still feel sick, but I'll be able to function a little better.
When I'm feeling like this I need to rest and stay in bed. Often the nausea makes me feel dizzy, which in turn makes me more nauseous. So even lying in bed is difficult.
After the slice of toast and a cup of tea, I normally start to feel hungry again. Usually, I have a smoothie or a yoghurt. This continues to bring up my energy levels for a small amount of time, but on days like this, they only increase so far.
The nausea eventually starts to lessen
At this point, I am still feeling nauseous but the intensity of it has lessened. I am able to sleep. Having a nap when I'm feeling like this really helps. But I must force-feed myself first. As before I eat, I am even too nauseous to sleep.
Luckily, I have been prescribed an anti-sickness medication, which is also a tablet that helps with migraines. This suits me perfectly as sometimes I get migraines. This tablet will either take my nausea away completely! Or make me vomit..not so great. But either way, I’m able to sleep after taking it.
On days where I'm nauseous but it's not debilitating. I will sip on chamomile and hemp tea and that always soothes the feeling of nausea.
Does anyone else feel nauseous quite frequently? What helps ease this horrible feeling for you?
Do you notice worsening flares in colder weather?