Coffee-nauseous?

Originally Published: February 1, 1994 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: August 26, 2011
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Dear Alice,

Recently, I have noticed that drinking coffee makes me somewhat nauseous. I have never had problems with caffeine before, and still don't with caffeinated soft-drinks. The only thing I can think of is that my diet at school tends to consist almost entirely of pizza and Chinese. Could it be due to a dietary deficiency? What's up?

B-real

Dear B-real,

Mmmmm, coffee! A love of coffee and resulting nausea are not a combination most would want. Coffee does stimulate the flow of stomach acid and thus potentially irritate the stomach lining (and ulcers if a person has them). It may also relax the sphincter at the end of the esophagus (as do alcohol and smoking), allowing for the backup of stomach contents and thus increasing the chance of heartburn in some people. Decaffeinated coffee is generally as much a problem as caffeinated, so that won't work to reduce your nausea. The principal culprits are either the bean's natural oils or substances apparently introduced during the roasting process, which explains why you don't have the problem with caffeinated soft drinks (it's not the caffeine!).

What to do? Your choices include, but are not limited to, cutting down on your coffee intake (don't go cold turkey -- it's guaranteed to increase your nausea, irritability, and result in headaches); substituting tea or hot water with lemon for a few cups a day; or trying eating something with your coffee — some say this cuts down on your stomach's acid secretion and gives a buffer for the nausea and stomach irritation. You might also add skim milk to your coffee as milk can be a bit soothing to the stomach.

As for your diet of Chinese food and pizza, it's certainly for another day's question. But at first glance, your diet seems pretty high in fat and sodium.... However, it likely doesn't have anything to do with your coffee nausea. If you are a student at Columbia, you can talk with a nutritionist at Medical Services to learn more about coffee options and other food choices. To make an appointment visit Open Communicator or call x4-2284.

Best of luck finding the right coffee balance,

Alice

December 22, 2004

20839
Dear Alice,

I just wanted to say that I am in complete agreement with you; you can and will get arrested in NY for the use of marijuana. No matter how you smoke it or even if you are just...

Dear Alice,

I just wanted to say that I am in complete agreement with you; you can and will get arrested in NY for the use of marijuana. No matter how you smoke it or even if you are just carrying it in your pocket unlit, you will get arrested. I've seen it happen and know a few people who have gotten arrested. You usually get a DAT and go home, if the police wants to play hardball, they make you go through the system just to walk away with a slap on the wrist. It IS illegal and people like the person who wrote you will not get arrested needs to realize that in NY, it is illegal and you will definitely get arrested. While it is true that some police officers will just tell you to turn it off and throw it out, others, depending on the kind of day they've had, will give you a harder time.

signed,
concerned

October 10, 2003

20508
Alice, In regards to the Marijuana fact checking response: The reader said that you cannot compare pot with cigarettes because you never hear of "pack-a-day" pot smokers. That's also false! I know...
Alice, In regards to the Marijuana fact checking response: The reader said that you cannot compare pot with cigarettes because you never hear of "pack-a-day" pot smokers. That's also false! I know at least 8 people who smoke pot 7 or 8 times EVERYDAY. I think that's pretty close to or worse than a pack a day of cigarettes. Pot can be just as serious to your health as cigarettes. -friend of too many f*cked up stoners