When you experience nausea in the morning, you might think you are pregnant. Although it will sometimes cause vomiting, this is not always true. Pregnancy is most commonly associated with morning nausea, but this is not the only health condition that will do so. Nausea occurs involuntarily based on the actions of your central nervous system. If you experience morning nausea but are not pregnant, then there are many possible reasons.

Morning Nausea But Not Pregnant—Why?

The following reasons are some of the most common a person will experience nausea in the morning (not pregnant) situations.

1.      Low Blood Sugar or Hunger

Low blood sugar or hunger can frequently cause morning nausea when not pregnant. It is possible that you will wake up with your body hungry enough that it is nauseous before you get the chance to eat breakfast.

To reduce this issue, either eat breakfast first thing in the morning or keep a snack by your bed. Eat this snack before you get out of bed.

2.      Food Eaten

Sometimes when you eat foods with a high fat content, this will lead to nausea as can eating your food too fast. The same is true of eating too much at a time. Nausea may also be caused by consuming a great deal of alcohol. In some cases, nausea has a clear explanation, such as dehydration caused by not drinking enough water the previous day.

3.      Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease takes place when the muscle separating the stomach and esophagus relaxes. When this happens, stomach acid can wash back to the mouth and esophagus, leading to nausea as well as a sour taste within the mouth and heartburn symptoms. Any of these symptoms may indicate this condition. In some cases, it can be resolved by taking antacids at night, preferably right before lying down.

4.      Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is when the stomach muscles do not undergo their spontaneous movements correctly. In most cases, there are strong muscular contractions which will move food along the digestive tract, but this motility either works poorly or does not function at all in the case of gastroparesis. It can therefore interfere with digestion, leading to vomiting, nausea, and issues with nutrition and blood sugar. Other symptoms of gastroparesis include malnutrition, weight loss, lack of appetite, abdominal pain or bloating, or feeling full after having just several bites of food.

5.      Gastritis and Other Conditions

Gastritis can also cause morning nausea, not pregnant. This is when the stomach lining becomes inflamed. Pancreatitis is another cause, in which the pancreas is inflamed. Cholecystitis refers to an inflamed gallbladder and may also be to blame. Other causes include peptic ulcers and cardiac ischemia, which involves insufficient blood or oxygen flow to the heart.

6.      Gallstones

The small stone-like formations in the gallbladder are known as gallstones and these can sometimes cause pain and bile duct blockages. This blockage can also lead to morning nausea.

7.      Pain Medication

There are certain pain medications that can lead to either nausea or vomiting. These include oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, codeine, and other opioids. You may even experience morning nausea not pregnant symptoms when taking over-the-counter medications as they irritate the stomach or lead to bloating by slowing down your intestinal movement. OTC culprits include potassium and iron products, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.

8.      Cancer Treatment

It is also possible for those undergoing cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy to experience morning nausea not pregnant symptoms. This is more likely to occur among women than men.

9.      Brain Injury

Brain injuries such as concussions can lead to nausea as well as other symptoms, including some serious ones. They may also lead to headaches which in turn cause nausea.

10.    Depression or Anxiety

Depression and/or anxiety can also lead to a feeling of being sick to the stomach, particularly in the morning. Upon waking up, people with this conditions will frequently feel nervous about their day or begin feeling upset and anxious, adding stress to the digestive system. This issue may lead to morning illnesses, but the symptoms may be more pronounced in the case of people with acid reflux or low blood pressure.


If you regularly experience morning nausea and are not pregnant, this may indicate a significant issue. As such, it is a good idea to tell your doctor if you notice an upset stomach daily upon waking up and haven’t reduced the effects by adjusting your water intake. Your doctor can determine the appropriate diagnosis of what is causing nausea as well as the underlying reasons for the chronic upset stomach. Based on this information, they can create an effective treatment plan. This plan may include medications, changes to your daily lifestyle, and/or various surgical options.

What Others Say

“I’ve been experiencing morning nausea but I’m not pregnant. In the past, tests for hypoglycemia have come back negative. My former doctor wasn’t much help, but I think it might be related to my gallbladder based on some research. I’m hoping to get an ultrasound to check into this possibility.”


“I used to experience morning nausea and new I wasn’t pregnant. It can be because of indigestion when there is too much stomach acid. If this happens regularly, I suggest eating dinner earlier and then having chamomile tea with a bit of slippery elm bark. This helped me with indigestion. If that doesn’t work, go to your doctor since it may be an ulcer.”