Nausea & Vomiting

During and after chemotherapy and radiation treatment, some people may experience nausea and vomiting. Not everyone will have these side effects, and for many patients, this is only a temporary problem that subsides as their body adjusts to treatment or as treatment is completed.

DIET:

  1. Experiment with various eating patterns. Small meals and small portions eaten throughout the day keep the stomach from feeling too full and are digested more easily.
  2. Drink cool, clear, unsweetened beverages such as clear soup, carbonated beverages (ginger ale), popsicles or ice cubes made from juice. Sip liquids slowly through a straw. Drink plenty of liquids even if you can’t eat solids.
  3. Eat dry foods such as toast and crackers. These seem to help ease an upset stomach – especially in the morning.
  4. Experiment with sour foods such as lemon, sour pickles, hard candy or lemon sherbet.
  5. Avoid sweet, highly salted, fatty or spicy foods and foods with strong odors.
  6. Eat cold foods or those served at room temperature like sandwiches, cottage cheese, cereal or desserts. Cold foods are usually better tolerated than warm or hot foods.

ACTIVITY

  1. Stay out of the kitchen while your food is being prepared if the smell of food makes you nauseated. Let someone else do the cooking. Take a walk or sit in another room.
  2. On days that you feel well, prepare several meal-size dishes and freeze for a day when you don’t want to cook
  3. Do not lie flat for at least two hours after eating. It may help to rest after eating since activity can slow down digestion and increase discomfort. If you wish to rest, sit down in a comfortable chair. Try to fall asleep.
  4. Use relaxation techniques. Try breathing trough your mouth when you feel nauseated.
  5. Practice good daily oral hygiene. Clean your mouth after each vomiting episode.
  6. Obtain fresh air by sitting near an open window or outdoors (weather permitting) or try a fan.

IN ADDITION:

Your physician will outline a regimen of antinausea medications that will be used to control nausea/ vomiting specific to each individual.