Tips On Coping With Nausea and Vomiting

(Information extracted from Julie C.  (2009). Eating well: A practical guide for people living with leukaemias, lymphomas, myeloma and related blood disorders.  Lilian D, (Ed.). Australia: Leukaemia Foundation.)

  • Take anti-nausea medication as prescribed
  • Avoid eating just before or shortly after treatment
  • Don’t go for long periods without eating, as this may make your nausea worse
  • Have smaller meals more frequently during the day, rather than a few large ones
  • Ensure you are having cool, clear, unsweetened fluids like water or diluted juice (e.g. pear, mango) or nectar. Sip on broths, herbal teas (like green tea, ginger tea or raspberry leaf tea), ginger ale, and/or blackcurrant juice
  • Get some fresh air and avoid strong or offensive smells. Avoid being in the kitchen when meals are being prepared
  • If you feel better, eat some dry toast or crackers or stewed fruit
  • Dry salty food (e.g. crackers) and soft drinks (e.g. ginger ale) are often well tolerated
  • Eat cold food or those served at room temperature to minimise odours and preparation. Try eating small amounts of natural yoghurt
  • A grated apple, ginger or papaya may help to settle nausea
  • Try to eat small amounts of white rice when nausea or vomiting subsides
  • Limit fatty and fried food, as these take longer to pass through your stomach, causing more nausea
  • If you are unable to eat any solid food, it is still important to drink plenty of fluids (about eight to ten glasses a day) so that you don’t become dehydrated. Soups or high-protein high-energy drinks can make good substitutes for solid food during this time. Be sure to tell the doctor, nurse or dietician if you are unable to drink or eat much.
  • You will receive anti-emetics (anti-nausea drugs) on a regular basis, before and for a few days after your treatment has completed. Be sure to tell the nurses and doctors if the nausea or vomiting persists for longer, or if you think that the anti-emetics are not working for you. There are many different types of anti-emetics that can be tried.

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