Why does it feel like I am always feeling nausea upon waking up?

A couple of months back, I began feeling sick upon waking up. This lasted for about one hour until it stopped. Recently, the nausea has returned intermittently throughout the day. 

However, my GP recommended blood tests. These came back as normal. My GP now has no idea what to do. Are there any ideas?

A doctor should be consulted for every new or persistent symptom. This is especially true if the patient is over 50. Most people will only experience nausea for a short time.

You may not feel nauseated all day.

While blood tests provide an overall overview and may indicate serious conditions, they are not able to give a full picture.

Frequent nausea can be due to acid reflux, gastritis or migraine. These conditions would not be detected in routine blood tests.

DR ELLIE CANNON: I can't emphasise enough that any new and persistent symptom, particularly if you're over 50, should always be explored thoroughly by a doctor. For most people, nausea is a transient symptom lasting only a few days (file photo)

DR. ELLIE CANNON: It is important that every new, persistent symptom be evaluated by a physician, especially if the patient is over 50. Nausea is usually a temporary symptom that lasts a few days for most people (file image). 

Nausea is an often-occurring side effect to medication. This should be taken into consideration.

It can also be related to particular foods, as well as alcohol – particularly in excess.

Any new sign, particularly if it is persistent or significant, may require further examination. If you have persistent nausea, stool tests, an ultrasound and other tests may be necessary. The tube is inserted into the stomach through the neck and attached to a camera.

Since 1995, I’ve been taking venlafaxine daily for my anxiety. While it does work, sometimes I feel as though I’m living in a bubble. I have also had to give up my libido, which has caused my marital problems. What is the alternative to this?

Venlafaxine is an antidepressant prescribed in the UK for generalised anxiety disorder – the name we give the mental health condition that means people feel anxious constantly, rather than in response to specific events.


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It’s a type of medication known as a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI. They increase brain levels of chemical substances called noradrenalin and serotonin, which have a direct link to energy and mood.

They are more effective than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Although there has not been much evidence of their efficacy in treating depression they have been demonstrated to work well for anxiety.

They can cause side effects, just like all medicines. The benefits are often more important than the negatives for many. However, side effects that have a significant impact on your quality of life or relationships are a sign to look into other options.

Venlafaxine can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. People with diabetes may also experience an increase in blood pressure or a decrease in blood sugar.

Antidepressants can cause sexual difficulties, as well as many other drugs that are used to treat mental illness.

Anxiety can also be treated with other medications, such as those in the SSRI class like escitalopram. A lower dose may result in less side effects.

Any medication change after 25 years must be done slowly. It would be months before you could withdraw from your medication. Then, you will need to wait for a slower introduction of new tablets. A psychiatrist or GP should supervise any trial of new medications.

I have developed a prickly itch on my thighs, bottom, arms, neck and chin – with no rash. The itch started after I received a Covid vaccine jab. It has gotten worse ever since. Is it possible that you have an allergy to the vaccine

Although it may seem trivial, it can become a very distressing condition. This is also a self-perpetuating condition. When we scratch our skin, it makes the itching worse.

A few signs could include itching around sweaty places like the underarms, inner thighs or neck. A fungal infection or yeast infection like thrush is most likely to occur in moist, warm areas. You may not have a clear rash but you might consider using an antifungal or antithrush cream for a couple of weeks to test it out.

The other possibility with itchiness in these areas is urticaria – itchy, red, raised patches or spots that develop due to high levels of a chemical called histamine in the skin.

Histamine is part of the immune response. But it can also trigger by certain foods and heat exposure.

It doesn’t matter what the reason, you can try taking an oral antihistamine tablet to relieve itching. The scratching of the skin is also reduced, which helps soothe it. You can take antihistamines at night or during the day, depending on your pharmacist’s advice.

The official guidance lists skin reactions as common side effects of vaccinations. This should be reported to your doctor using the MHRA Yellow Card’ reporting method.

Do you feel like a new mom struggling to make ends meet? 

I believe that post-natal care has been a poor service provided by the NHS for women.

While it has been known for some time that as many as five percent of mothers who have just had their first child experience depression, the fact that they are now required to conduct a six-week mental health check is a new phenomenon.

And I’ve had patients left with serious pelvic issues following childbirth, who then suffered in silence for years after being told by (often male) GPs that they should ‘watch and wait’ – as if these problems were par for the course.

DR ELLIE CANNON: In my opinion, the NHS has never been particularly good at post-natal care for women (file photo)

DR ELLIE CANNON: In my opinion, the NHS has never been particularly good at post-natal care for women (file photo)

Recent reports have worried me. One new mum with suspected pelvic organ prolapse – when one or more of the organs in the pelvis slip from their normal position and bulge into the vagina – was told she should go private if she wanted to be seen any time soon.

Services are being stretched thinner than ever. It is not acceptable that women are left in such vulnerable situations.

Do you, or have you known someone who has been denied medical attention after giving birth or was told they cannot get it. Let me know if you have any questions so that we can work together. Send me an email.

Children are again subject to the covid rules 

Last weekend I appeared on BBC Newsnight to discuss my disappointment at restrictions being reintroduced that appear to target children and young adults before any other group.

Do you have a question for Dr Ellie?

Email DrEllie@mailonsunday.co.uk or write to Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.

Dr Ellie is unable to answer individual questions or provide personal responses. She can only respond in general terms. Consult your GP if there is a concern about your health.

Facemasks have been reintroduced in shops and on public transport – something I welcome. Although many adults don’t wear facemasks, they are required to be worn at school by children. Unmasked revellers fill the bars, and Nativity plays are canceled.

This feels at best unfair. It’s only fair, at best.

But, while I was worried that I might be labeled ‘antimask’ or a Covid denier, many of my colleagues agreed with me. There is a lot to show that schools aren’t the only place where Covid happens: there are many evidence suggesting that rates at school are simply a reflection on what is happening in communities. Covid may be high everywhere but it will also be at schools.

It is important to recognize that there are both drawbacks and benefits to restrictions, just as children have suffered enough damage and loss to make it possible to safeguard adults. 

Have you or has someone you know been left without medical help after giving birth, or been fobbed off or told they can’t get treatment? I’d like to hear from you so we can investigate. Send me an email.