Coping with Nausea and Vomiting From Chemotherapy
Tips for Coping
Food and drink tips:
- Eat and drink slowly.
- Drink small amounts throughout the day. Good choices include cool, clear, water, unsweetened fruit juices (eg, apple or grape juice) and light-colored, decaffeinated sodas (eg, ginger ale) that have lost their fizz.
- Try to eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day, instead of three big meals. Examples of foods that you may be able to tolerate well include: skinless chicken (broiled or baked), cooked cereal (eg, Cream of Wheat, oatmeal), crackers, pretzels, pasta, white rice, and boiled potatoes (without skins).
- Chew your food well.
- Avoid sweet, fried, or fatty foods.
- After you finish a meal, rest. But, do not lie flat for at least two hours after eating.
- Eat foods cold or at room temperature so you will not be bothered by strong smells.
- If nausea is a problem in the morning, try eating dry foods (eg, cereal, toast, or crackers).
- Prepare and freeze meals in advance for days when you do not feel like cooking. You can also ask friends or family to cook meals for you.
Other home care tips:
- In addition to cooking smells, try to avoid other strong odors, like tobacco smoke.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- If you are feeling nauseated, take deep breaths.
- Try to to get involved in enjoyable activities, like watching your favorite show or talking with friends.
- Use relaxation techniques, like meditation .
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/
BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/default.htm/
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca/
Coping with nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Cancer Care website. Available at: http://www.cancercare.org/pdf/booklets/ccc%5Fnausea%5Fand%5Fvomiting.pdf . Accessed June 21, 2012.
Managing chemotherapy side effects. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemo-side-effects/nausea. Accessed June 21, 2012.
Nausea and vomiting. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/TreatmentTypes/Chemotherapy/UnderstandingChemotherapyAGuideforPatientsandFamilies/understanding-chemotherapy-common-side-effects-nausea-and-vomiting. Updated March 17, 2011. Accessed June 21, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/21/2012 -