Tips for managing Nausea

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Tips from Lisa Fayed

Lisa Fayed edits a very succesful website as part of the  family, and recently had this Guide to handling nausea:

Nausea is one the most common side effects …. and can also be one of the most miserable ones. Although nausea may seem like a harmless side effect of chemotherapy, it can lead to a loss of appetite and in turn,  dehydration, which can be serious.

If you get an attack, here are her Tips

1. Eat small meals throughout the day. It is easier to keep down small amounts of food when you are nauseated than  large amounts, even when you feel really hungry. Wait until the nausea has passed before attempting to eat larger amounts.

2. Do not eat fatty, greasy foods right before or during treatment. Fatty and greasy foods are often difficult to digest in the first place, let alone with bouts of nausea. Plus, another goal is to keep the food you eat down, and greasy foods can often make nausea worse, leading to vomiting.

3. Rest after eating, but do not lay completely flat. Try laying in an upright position or in a recliner. This will aid in digestion.

4. Avoid strong scents or odors. This may mean no cooking in the home for the rest of the family while you are at home. You may want to dine out for some meals to avoid scent or food aversions.

5. Avoid your favorite foods during treatment if you are experiencing nausea. Your body may learn to associate these foods with nausea and vomiting, a condition called a conditioned food aversion. This may make them difficult to eat when you are feeling less nauseous.

(I found I was suddenly sick when faced with my favourite foods – and found she is right).

6. Talk to your doctor or Clinical Nurse specialist about your nausea. Most people need to drink large amounts of fluids a day and if you are vomiting, this is not being achieved.

7. No smoking. Some people continue to smoke during treatment, but this habit can easily upset the stomach, worsening the nausea. If you are having trouble kicking the habit during treatment, talk to your doctor. Several smoking cessation therapies are available to help you in your quest to quit.

9. Drink fluids at room temperature. Cold or warm beverages may increase or trigger nausea in already sensitive stomachs.

And on a personal note, Tonic Water (Schweppes) works for me.  It goes horribly flat very quickly if you buy the large bottles, but you can get it in small ring-pull cans, which make an ideal dose.

This is part of the New York Times website family.

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