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Nausea and nutrition in cancer treatment

December 30, 2021


Nausea is a common side effect of cancer treatment, and sometimes can be followed by vomiting. In some instances, anticipating a treatment session can also cause nausea. Some steps that may help minimize the uncomfortable feeling include eating small amounts of food often and slowly, instead of eating large meals. Especially in the morning, if that’s when nausea occurs, taking bites of small crackers before getting up can be helpful. Hot foods can cause nausea due to strong smell, so eating foods at room temperature or cooler could be beneficial. Make sure to keep your head raised for at least an hour after you eat. Some foods to try while feeling nauseous can include broths, oatmeal, pretzels, canned fruits, toast, crackers and yogurt. It would be wise to avoid any fatty, greasy, fried, spicy, or very sweet foods. If there are any triggers that you notice that start nausea, avoid them when possible. Triggers can include a particular time of day, food, smell, or events that trigger your nausea, so do your best by changing your schedule to minimize this from happening. For any nausea from radiation therapy or chemotherapy, eat tasteless, soft foods on treatment days and refrain from eating an hour or two before treatment. If anticipation nausea happens, practice meditation or relaxation techniques to distract yourself.

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