Nausea and vomiting can be very unpleasant. You may not want or be able to do the things that are important to you. Also, if you vomit a lot, your body may lose too much fluid and get dehydrated.
Only you know how sick you feel and if you need help. Please talk with your health care team about how you are feeling.
Food and drink
- Write down all of the things that give you nausea or make you vomit.
- Eat and drink what works for you. Try foods that have made you feel better in the past. These might be bland foods, sour candy, dry crackers, toast, ginger ale, flat soda, or others.
- Do not eat your favorite foods when you have nausea and vomiting. You may start to dislike them when you are feeling well.
- Try eating small meals more often instead of three large meals a day.
- Sip fluids often during the day. Fluids such as water, juice, soups, broths, sports drinks, herbal tea or nutritional drinks such as Ensure®.
- Try chewing food slowly and well.
- Eat foods that are lukewarm or cold. The smell of hot foods may make your nausea worse.
- Do not eat fatty, fried, very spicy, or very sweet foods.
If you are not sure what fluids to drink or foods to eat, talk to your health care team.
You can also speak with a BC Cancer Dietitian or call 8-1-1 and ask to speak with an oncology dietitian.
- If you can, have someone else make your meals so you do not have to smell the food cooking.
- Cook and freeze some meals ahead of time. This way you can reheat them during the times you have nausea.
Keeping your mouth clean
- If your mouth is not clean, bacteria can build up and give you nausea. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Ask your health care team about relaxation exercises. These might help you feel less nervous, more in control, and lower your nausea.
- Some complementary therapies such as cannabinoids and acupuncture (or acupressure) have been shown to be helpful for some people.
- Complementary therapies may help your nausea and vomiting, but are unlikely to replace your anti-nausea medications.
- Talk to your health care team about any complementary therapies you are interested in.