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Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea with or without vomiting can be caused by your cancer or cancer treatments. Treatment for nausea may vary for each person and may include medications, physical relaxation, mental relaxation or dietary changes. Nausea with or without vomiting can prevent you from eating enough.

 

Nausea

  • Keep a record of your nausea. There may be certain times, foods, events or surroundings that may make your nausea worse.
  • Eating small amounts of food throughout the day rather than three large meals may help you feel more comfortable.
  • Try different temperatures of foods and beverages. Try items that are at room temperature or cool. Hot foods can worsen nausea.
  • Avoid high-fat, greasy, spicy and overly sweet foods.
  • Eat bland foods like low-fat dairy, breads, crackers, pasta (made with refined white flour), oatmeal, cream of wheat, plain poultry (chicken or turkey), plain fish, creamy peanut butter, pudding, eggs, tofu, broth, tea, vegetables (cooked, canned or frozen), juice (fruit or vegetable) and fruit (cooked or canned).
  • Sip on chilled liquids like flat soda, sports drinks and fruit juice. Try drinking from a covered container using a straw. Drink beverages between meals rather than with a meal.
  • Include ginger such as ginger tea, ginger candy or adding fresh ginger to recipes.
  • To remove bad tastes, rinse your mouth before and after meals using a solution made of 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ¾ teaspoon of salt and 1 quart of warm or cool water.
  • Suck on hard candy like peppermints or lemon drops.
  • Avoid eating in stuffy rooms that smell like food.
  • Eat sitting up. After eating or drinking, keep head elevated. Avoid laying down flat until 2 hours after eating.

Vomiting

  • After you vomit, rinse your mouth with water and wait 30 minutes before trying to eat or drink.
  • Once vomiting is under control, drink small amounts of clear liquids often like apple juice, cranberry juice, flat soda, broth or small bites of frozen, flavored ice.
  • If you tolerate clear liquids next try soft, bland foods like cream of wheat. If you tolerate these foods, slowly begin to eat foods that you normally eat.

These suggestions are not meant to replace talking to your doctor and registered dietitian. For more information regarding nausea and vomiting, schedule an appointment with the Registered Dietitian at the UW Carbone Cancer Center by contacting Cancer Connect by calling (608) 265-1700.