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Cancer Nutrition Consortium

How do I treat nausea?

Question

Do you have tips or recommendations to treat nausea?

Answer

Take the right medicine at the right time.  Around the clock might be best. Check the instructions on your medicine label and talk to your health provider about the best way to take your medicine

If your medicine is not helping, talk to your health provider about trying a different medicine or combination of medicines since some medicines may work better for you than others.

Sometimes other problems such as constipation can make nausea worse. Let your doctor know if you have not had a bowel movement for more than 2 to 3 days or you are having abdominal pain or you are vomiting or if you run a fever.

Take enough fluid. Most people are told to take 8 cups of fluid per day. You may need more or less, but not taking enough fluid can make nausea worse.  Ice chips or chopped popsicles throughout the day may be easier for you to take.  Talk to your health provider about how much fluid you need.  If you are taking enough fluid, your urine should be a light yellow color.

A technique called acupressure can help. You can buy pressure bands for your wrist such as sea bands or apply pressure to the P6 pressure point below the inside of your wrist.  There are several internet sites that demonstrate this. You can find a picture of this technique at this site

http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Nausea-With-Acupressure

Foods that are better tolerated can be different for each person. However, it may be best for you to try more cold type foods that do not have a strong odor or taste, such as cold sandwiches or cheese and crackers, cereal, puddings, fruits, sherbet and juice-type nutrition drinks are examples.

As nausea decreases, you can add more foods, but continue to avoid spicy, greasy and fatty foods until you are sure you can tolerate those types of foods.

Several websites have more information about foods that may be better tolerated such as:

American cancer society – http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/nauseaandvomiting/nauseaandvomiting/nausea-and-vomiting-chemo-and-nausea-vomiting

National Cancer Institute – http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/nausea.pdf

 

This information is not intended to replace the individual recommendations or guidance you may have received from your physician or registered dietitian.