Nicola Parker, of Health and Herbs in Morecambe writes about the causes of feeling sick
Feeling sick is awful. Whether it’s a low grade queasy sensation or the full blown nausea that comes with a sickness bug, it’s just awful.
It’s also something I hear about from my patients on a regular basis. Yet despite being so common, people rarely visit me to rectify it.
Instead, it’s usually something they don’t mention unless I bring it up.
When I do, people often seem surprised when I ask about it, as though feeling sick is something that isn’t abnormal.
So why do we suffer with nausea?
Why is it that some of us feel sickly all the time, without any obvious cause?
A common link between many sufferers is an over-burdened liver.
By this, I don’t mean that they suffer from liver disease or have a serious health condition, simply that for some reason their liver is struggling, possibly because it has too much to do.
So what does it do? The biggest role of the liver is to filter our blood.
When we eat or drink something, it is broken down in our digestive system and absorbed into blood vessels that lead to the liver.
The liver then decides what it want to keep and what needs to be broken down and eliminated as waste.
The liver filters almost a litre and a half of blood every minute.
It’s a big job.
If you’re feeling sick, it’s worth exploring any reasons that your liver could be overworked.
A common issue I see is constipation.
Not moving your bowels on a regular basis means that waste builds up.
If it isn’t moving and your digestive system is holding on to waste that you’re supposed to be getting rid of, you may end up feeling sick, queasy, bloated and uncomfortable.
Getting your bowel working and providing your liver with some support should address the issue at its root.
Another common cause is exposure to drugs.
This could be alcohol, over-the-counter medications like pain killers or prescription drugs that you take for a health condition. Your liver breaks down and eliminates all of these drugs, which is why many medications need to be taken daily. If your liver is struggling to handle the amount of drugs you are taking, it could leave you feeling queasy on a regular basis.
The last person I treated by providing liver support came to me because her skin was itching all over.
There was no rash, nothing to see and the cream given to her by her GP wasn’t helping at all.
Frustrated, she told me that she felt like the itch was under the skin, so even scratching the itch wasn’t providing her with any relief.
This is a common sign that the liver is functioning sub par so I began asking her about her digestive system. As it turns out, she was using high dose prescription pain killers, the main side effect of which is constipation.
Initially she didn’t seem convinced that her skin and her constipation were linked, until I asked if she ever felt sick.
Apparently, she’d been feeling nauseous for months but it had never been bad enough that she considered visiting her GP.
Instead, she just felt constantly off colour or queasy, regularly enough that this feeling had become the norm.
We started working to relieve her constipation and I gave her a blend of liver herbs, a small tablet containing dandelion, milk thistle and artichoke, three herbs that work together to stimulate and improve the detoxification processes through the liver. Considering the strong pain medications she was using, it seemed vital that we give her overworked liver some support and herbal medicine is ideal for just that.
It took a few weeks but using the liver herbs, her itchy skin cleared up and the sickly feeling vanished completely.
Sometimes we ignore symptoms that seem too low key for a visit to the GP but it’s important to listen to what the body is telling us. These subtle signs are indicators that something isn’t quite right and a quick trip to a health professional may be all you need to start solving the problem and feeling like yourself again.