Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea, whether caused by your cancer or by your treatment, can make it difficult for you to get the nutrition you need. Talk to your doctor if you have nausea, because there are drugs that you can take that can prevent it from occurring. Vomiting may be brought on by your treatment or other things. If vomiting lasts for more than a day or so, call the doctor, who may be able to prescribe something to calm your stomach. Most of the time if you are able to control your nausea, you will not have vomiting, but sometimes it still happens.

These are some tips to help you keep your stomach settled:

  • Eat several small meals instead of 3 large ones; smaller amounts of food may be easier to keep down. Don’t eat foods that are too hot or too cold, spicy or fried if they upset your stomach.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – this will help prevent dehydration, but you may want to sip through the day instead of gulping something down all at once. Also, don’t drink too much with your meals to prevent a bloated feeling.
  • On treatment days - some people find it easier to eat something before they come to treatment, others prefer to wait until afterwards – find what works best for you and stick with it.
  • Eat slowly
  • Wear loose clothing

Some foods may make you feel better if you are nauseated, including:

  • Clear broth or soups such as chicken noodle
  • Clear drinks
    • Sodas such as Sprite, 7-Up or ginger ale
    • Tea
    • Grape or cranberry juices
    • Sports drinks or beverages such as Pedialyte
  • Starches
    • Crackers, toast or pretzels
    • Hot cereals such as cream of wheat or oatmeal
    • Boiled potatoes without skin, noodles or rice
  • Other meal options
    • Baked or broiled skinless chicken
    • Soft, bland fruits and vegetables, such as canned peaches
  • Sweets or desserts
    • Angel food cake
    • Yogurt, popsicles or sherbet
    • Jell-o

If you are vomiting, there are a few things you can do to try to keep from vomiting again: don’t eat or drink anything until you have your vomiting under control; after that, try taking small sips of clear liquids – bouillon, clear sodas, etc. – for example, 1 teaspoon every 10 minutes, working up to 1 tablespoon every 20 minutes, and then 2 tablespoons every 30 minutes. When you’re able to keep clear liquids down, you can move to a full-liquid or soft diet, still eating only small amounts. Once you’re feeling better, you may work into your regular diet.