Lithium Nausea; Curbed By Tater Tots?

After four years of taking Lithium I have finally discovered a substance that nullifies lithium nausea.

This is big news, are you ready for this?

Potatoes! Or, more specifically, tater tots!

As I said, I’ve been taking lithium for four years now and though most of the initial nausea, tremors, and grossness has faded, I have always had trouble with the window between the time right after taking the lithium before I fall asleep. This has been especially bad if I can’t sleep (for whatever reason) and the longer I lay there, the more awful I feel… consequently making it even harder to sleep.

While I’ve tried just taking the lithium with food, I don’t like to eat a “meal” within two hours of going to bed because I have bad acid reflux and wind up with nasty heartburn. When I’ve tried staying up two hours after taking the lithium, I reach a point where my stomach empties (good for going to bed) but then the nausea hits me. In my experience, empty tummy = return of the nausea.

I discovered the method I’ve been using the last month or so when I began having really bad stomach problems (as a result of medication side effects). It only really works if I eat dinner at least three hours before I plan on going to bed (two hours before I take the lithium and tots so my stomach is empty, one hour before I expect to actually get in bed).

This has been my recent experimental tot-to-lithium nausea nullification ritual;

1. I bake up 6-8 tots (depending on my hunger level) and start them so they will be out of the oven an hour before I plan to get in bed. Keep in mind that involves subtracting oven pre-heat time and baking time (about 25 minutes total for my oven but each oven is a little different) from the time I want them done, so I start the oven up about an hour and a half before bed. Also, it is good to note that cooking 6-8 tots takes less time than, say, half the bag, so usually the full time printed is not necessary -I tend to knock off 3-5 minutes of the cooking time, but as I said, each oven varies.

2. Once cooled, I eat the tots (with a little salt), take the lithium, and enjoy a nice episode of whatever is on.

3. By the time I crawl in bed an hour later I have been surprisingly nausea free and slightly comforted by the tots. For whatever reason, this has made falling asleep significantly easier, and I have had less nausea upon waking up later than I did when I was taking the lithium before bed on an empty stomach.

The potato seems to have enough carbohydrates and starch to keep me feeling full even though it is only a few little tots, but not full enough that I feel bloated or have had to deal with acid reflux. I have not, however, been using any kind of condiments because this has generally just triggered heartburn once I am in bed.

I don’t expect this is a phenomenon specifically caused by tots, if you are a whole-food or organic eater it might be worth trying a few cubes of boiled or roasted potato instead. I just use the tots because they involve significantly less prep, and I find the thought of taking “potato pills” with my regular ones somewhat amusing!

I realize this is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever stumbled upon, but honestly it has really helped me so I thought I would share. Though I can’t guarantee this will work for you, a little experimentation could definitely be worth your while! Tot-on!

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5 responses to “Lithium Nausea; Curbed By Tater Tots?

  1. That is funny and cool 😀

  2. I can’t think of any medication more delightful than tater tots

  3. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    Ahh tater tots…brings up childhood memories of the school cafeteria!

  4. I giggled when you said “potato pills.” Thank you. 🙂

  5. Pingback: My Prescription Was (Sort Of) Filled! | variable

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