Food Related Tips for Nausea and Vomiting

Preventing or Controlling Nausea | Preventing or Controlling Vomiting

Nausea is a feeling of queasiness in the stomach and may be followed by the urge to vomit. Nausea and vomiting can be caused by various conditions, such as cancer or cancer treatments, other diseases and their treatments, illness, pregnancy, or even motion sickness. Nausea can be triggered by certain odors, activities, or environmental surroundings. Often if nausea can be alleviated, vomiting can be prevented. Steps should be taken to control the condition as soon as possible; otherwise, it may be difficult for you to get the proper nutrients that are required to maintain a healthy body. Dehydration is also quite possible with prolonged bouts of vomiting.

Medical professionals can administer medications that can prevent or control nausea and vomiting. When medications are not an option, there are other steps that can be taken to help alleviate the discomfort of nausea and vomiting.

Preventing or Controlling Nausea

  • Do not allow yourself to become excessively hungry, because this can cause the nausea to become worse. Eat small amounts at a time, but eat more frequently in order to get the proper nourishment. Some foods are easier on the stomach than others. Consider the following suggested foods, which may be tolerated during bouts of nausea.

    • Saltine crackers or dry toast

    • Clear liquids or ice chips

    • Carbonated drinks

    • Broth based soups

    • Rice, pasta, or potatoes (boiled or baked)

    • Warm cereal, such as cream of wheat or oatmeal

    • Baked or broiled skinless chicken

    • Cottage cheese

    • Yogurt or sherbet

    • Gelatin

    • Popsicles™

    • Angle food cake

    • Bland fruits and vegetables

  • Some foods should be avoided when you are battling nausea.

    • Extremely hot or cold foods

    • Foods with strong odors

    • Foods that are greasy, fried, or contain large amounts of fat

    • Spicy hot food

    • Very sweet or rich food, such as candy, cookies, cakes, and desserts

  • When drinking liquids, sip on them and do not consume too much at one time. Limit the amount of liquids you drink before and after eating a meal because too much liquid can cause you to feel excessively full and bloated.

  • Here's a common sense suggestion: Eat the foods that your system can tolerate and avoid the foods that you cannot tolerate.

  • Rest after eating and sit upright for approximately one hour, or if you must be in a reclining position, keep your head slightly raised.

  • If food odors trigger or increase the feeling of nausea, stay away from the cooking area. If you must prepare your own food, select a food that does not require cooking, such as a sandwich, salad, cheese, or fresh fruit. Using a microwave to heat foods will produce fewer odors than using other cooking methods.

  • Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes.

  • Do not allow the room temperature to become too warm. Open a window to allow fresh air to enter the room.

  • For morning nausea, try eating some saltine crackers or dry toast before getting out of bed.

  • Meditation or relaxation exercises may be beneficial in controlling nausea.

  • Try doing activities that help to keep your mind occupied, such as doing puzzles, needlework, playing cards, or reading.

Preventing or Controlling Vomiting

Vomiting often follows nausea and is brought on by basically the same types of circumstances. Generally, if you can control nausea, you can prevent vomiting. Consider the following suggestions for preventing or controlling vomiting.

  • Do not try to eat anything until you feel the vomiting has ceased.

  • When you do feel capable of eating, begin with clear liquids, such as water or bouillon. Begin by sipping a little at a time, waiting about ten minutes between sips. Gradually increase the amount you drink, and if you are able to tolerate it and have not vomited again after one or two hours, consume other clear liquids. Clear carbonated beverages, fruit juice, sport drinks, tea, and Popsicles™ are good choices.

  • Once clear liquids are tolerated, begin adding other foods back into your diet. Select the same type of foods suggested for controlling nausea and eat small amounts frequently instead of large amounts at one time.

  • If vomiting ceases after following the preceding tips, you should be able to resume your regular diet.

Note: If severe vomiting persists for more than one or two days, be sure to contact your doctor. When nausea and vomiting occur, whether it is a result of cancer treatment, treatment from other diseases, pregnancy, or other illness, it is important to return to a healthy diet as soon as possible to help promote proper healing.

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