Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Nausea is very unpleasant and it gives you subjective feelings of the need to vomit. However, not everyone experiences nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. But if you consider chemotherapy, you should well prepare for preventing and decreasing nausea associated with chemotherapy.

Eating tips

  • Eat small meals. It is better to stagger small meals rather than larger meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid waiting till you get too hungry. You should have meals on time and do not skip meals.
  • Drinks lots of fluids. As having meals, it is more helpful to drink small amounts of fluids throughout the day, rather than larger, less frequently amount. It is better to drink at least two quarts of fluids per day, which can include water or juices.
  • Eat dry food such as dry cereal, toast without liquids in the morning.
  • Limit heavy, high fat and greasy meals, especially before chemotherapy.
  • Avoid heavy smell food which can trigger nausea and vomiting.
  • Avoid drinking too much liquid during meals.

Environment

  • Avoid unpleasant smells. Some irritating smells can trigger nausea, so you should know what can encourage nausea and stay away from them as much as possible.
  • Set yourself comfortable. Try not to lie down or take intensive exercise right after eating, but you can sit comfortably resting.
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing which can help reduce nausea.
  • Enjoy fresh air; loosing your clothing may help your nausea.
  • Relax and keep your mind off the chemotherapy. You can consider soothing music, or funny video, or have your friend or family member to talk with during the chemotherapy.

Other ways to minimize chemotherapy nausea

  • Stop eating when you are vomiting. Then, try a small amount of water or juice and start back on food slowly.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking which can directly affect your overall health. Sometimes, alcohol can make your nausea worse and more difficult to recover.
  • Keep hard candy, popsicles or ice during chemotherapy. This can be very helpful to limit nausea.
  • Ask your nurse or your doctor if you experience nausea during chemotherapy.

Drugs which can be prescribed to limit nausea

Some kinds of medications can cause nausea, so you should discuss with your doctor if you have any concerns of nausea. Your doctor may prescribe anti-nausea medication, such as:

  • Aprepitant;
  • Dolasetron;
  • Granisetron;
  • Ondansetron;
  • Palonosetron;
  • Prochlorperazine;
  • Promethazine;
  • Lorazepam;
  • Metoclopramide;
  • Dexamethasone;
  • Famotidine;
  • Ranitidine.

When to call your doctor

It is important to call your doctor if your nausea gets worse or seriously interferes with your daily activities, such as:

  • You continue to suffer from chemotherapy-based nausea and vomiting despite taking your anti-nausea medications.
  • Nausea that interferes with your ability to eat.
  • Vomiting 4-5 times in a 24-hour-period.
  • Feel bloated.
  • Have pain or a swollen stomach before nausea and vomiting occurs.
  • If you are bothered by the side effects from the anti-nausea medications.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
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