Nausea can be a side effect of chemotherapy as well as caused by the cancer itself or other treatments. Nausea can also be triggered by anxiety, depression and pain. Work with your healthcare provider to determine the exact cause of your nausea which will then help guide the most effective treatment. There are very effective medications to treat nausea. If you are taking a medication that is not managing the nausea be sure to inform the health care team to see if something else may help. If you have anti-nausea medication be sure to take it if you are experiencing nausea, don’t suffer in silence!
- Eat small meals. When eating less at mealtimes, try and make up for it by having healthy snacks.
- Limit high fat foods such as fried food and rich sauces and gravies. Foods that are very greasy, fatty or spicy can aggravate nausea. Foods lower in fat are easier to digest and leave the stomach faster than high fat foods.
- Have foods at room temperature or cold. Oftentimes the smell of hot foods can trigger nausea.
- Choose salty, starchy foods over sweet ones, especially if you have been vomiting.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes and get some fresh air and light physical activity if possible.
- Avoid strong smelling soaps, lotions, perfumes and air fresheners. Be sure to tell family and friends not to wear strong smelling perfume too!
- Try sips of gingerale, dried ginger or peppermint candies.
- Avoid lying down for about an hour after eating. Let gravity help you digest your food.
- Try relaxation techniques – progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, deep breathing, relaxing music and even acupuncture may be helpful.
- Again, if nausea medications are prescribed be sure to take them as directed!