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What is the Connection Between Nausea and Exhaustion?

By Jennifer Voight
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Nausea and exhaustion can be unpleasant symptoms when experienced alone, but when they occur together they can be debilitating. Although these symptoms are not serious themselves, they can be symptoms of hundreds of more conditions. Sometimes exhaustion can result from a severe bout of nausea and vomiting. These two symptoms frequently happen as a reaction to stress of disease or anxiety and often signal that the body is under more physical or mental stress than it can adequately handle. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually temporary and end once the condition resolves.

Nausea and exhaustion are two of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. The stress of a developing baby on a mother’s body can cause severe fatigue to the point of exhaustion. Although no one knows exactly why pregnant women experience nausea, it may be a response to surging hormone levels in a pregnant body. Some believe nausea is a response to heightened senses of smell and taste during pregnancy. Nausea and exhaustion from pregnancy can be relieved by getting extra rest and eating frequent small meals of bland foods.

Heat exhaustion is a condition that happens when the body becomes so overheated it cannot cool itself down. Nausea and vomiting are very common symptoms and signal that it’s time to see a doctor. Exhaustion results when the body becomes dehydrated and loses salt due to excessive sweating. If heat exhaustion is not treated promptly, heat stroke, a very serious condition, can result.

Chronic stress and anxiety can cause exhaustion and nausea. The stress response causes the body to secrete adrenal hormones that have a stimulating effect on the body systems. These hormones can fatigue the body if the anxiety is not relieved. Anxiety and stress can redirect blood flow away from the digestive system and cause a variety of intestinal symptoms, including nausea.

Over time, symptoms may become severe to the point of debilitation. Nausea and exhaustion are reliable indicators that the body needs to slow down and rest. Anxiety and chronic stress can be relieved by learning relaxation techniques and by making lifestyle changes that remove sources of stress from daily life.

Two of the most common side effects of chemotherapy are nausea and exhaustion. Chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments put the body under an extremely high level of stress. Fortunately, there are drugs that can treat chemotherapy-induced nausea. Exhaustion can be minimized by resting when needed, especially on treatment days.

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Discussion Comments
By Eviemae — On Jun 01, 2011

I had an aunt that had to go through some pretty rough chemo, and I felt so sorry for her.

Not only was she this sweet, wonderful lady who was incredibly sick, but she would also get so sick to her stomach and tired that she could barely function.

Well, I guess in all actuality, she didn’t function when the dizziness and nausea took over.

It just seemed to shrivel her right up into a shell of herself.

I hope that that is one thing I never have to go through in my life. To watch it was unbearable; to live it – I just couldn’t imagine.

By tlcJPC — On May 31, 2011

Nausea is by far one of the worst feelings in the whole world. And, when it is constant, it seems like exhaustion is just part of the equation.

It seems like any little thing can set off nausea and dizziness, along with that horrible tired feeling. When I’m stressed, tired, nervous or anything slightly uncomfortable dizziness and nausea are some of the first physical symptoms that my body throws out there.

It’s a pain, but it also forces me to step back, relax and rest.

I guess you could say that it’s my body’s way of getting my attention when my mind is otherwise preoccupied.

By blackDagger — On May 29, 2011

It never fails; when I get really stressed my body makes things worse by becoming extremely tired and I get nauseous without any provocation whatsoever.

I used to produce and direct musicals at the local high school level, which may not seem like a big deal. But believe me, in this area, it is a huge deal!

The closer the show dates came, the sicker and weaker I got every single year.

We put on at least six to nine shows per school year, but the spring musical was definitely the biggest endeavor. I didn’t enjoy a single spring for many years until I finally left the educational system to be a stay at home mom.

And, even in the first spring that I was home with my children, I still developed stress related persistent nausea and exhaustion during our usual ‘show week.’

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