Managing side effects
October 22, 2013
Nausea and vomiting are the two most common side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and other clinical treatments. Sometimes, these side effects occur the day of treatment, but they also can linger for a while. Either way, the discomfort can be managed, and here are some tips that may provide some relief.
Communicate with your physician.
There are several anti-nausea medications that may help you during this process. If your nausea and vomiting continue, tell your doctor. While some medications may work for one person, they may not be as effective for another. Always take your medications as directed, and avoid taking them on an empty stomach, unless otherwise specified.
Choose more stomach-friendly foods.
Crackers, toast, dry cereal, bread sticks and bland foods are easier to eat when feeling nauseated. Avoid spicy, greasy and very sweet foods, as they can make nausea worse. Hard candies, including peppermint and lemon drops, may help to ease nausea and get rid of bad tastes in your mouth. Eating six-to-eight small meals a day may help in two ways: by keeping food in your stomach longer and by only having to digest smaller portions at a time.
Make yourself comfortable.
Eat meals in a cool and calm place, and avoid smells that may trigger nausea. Food odors are strongest when they are hot; so, you could try to stay out of the kitchen when meals are being prepared. Remember that other strong odors aside from food may trigger nausea as well, such as perfume and cleansers.
Ensure that you are staying hydrated.
Vomiting increases the risk of dehydration, so be sure to sip liquids such as juices, sports drinks and soda (as tolerated) throughout the day. Call your doctor if your vomiting continues without relief.
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