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Oncology: At Home Treatment for Nausea

July 6, 2018

While nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy medications, there are many nutrition steps you can take to lessen this symptom. Read below some of the recommendations from the American Cancer Society, so that you can make the road to recovery much more pleasant.

 

 

 Non-drug Treatments for Nausea:

  1. Self Hypnosis: This is a behavioral technique that allows people to do things such as overcome habits or even reduce stress  You can follow the steps at this link to better help you achieve a more relaxed state: https://www.hypnosisandhealing.co.uk/self-help-centre/how-to-use-self-hypnosis-to-achieve-your-goals/

  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: This technique is centered around learning to “tense and release different muscle groups.”This technique might be easier followed with the help of a practitioner.

  3. Guided Imagery: By mentally removing themselves from the situation and imagining themselves in a relaxing place such as a vacation spot, many people often find this technique helpful in achieving a comfortable and relaxed state. People are able to recreate, sounds, sight, smells and sometimes even tastes and ultimately distance themselves from the feeling of nausea.   

  4. Diet changes: Some foods can help reduce nausea by providing nutrients that make the food easier to digest. Some dietary changes you can make include eating bland and cool foods. A few other recommendations have been listed below.  

How and When to Eat:

  • Eat small portions throughout the day; don’t force yourself to eat

  • Avoid eating favorite foods so that you don’t associate them with nausea

  • Stay hydrated and avoid eating dry foods

  • Eat foods that are cold or at room temperature

  • Eat bland foods; spices can cause more discomfort

  • Avoid eating greasy and fried foods

Foods that may reduce nausea:

  • Apples have fiber which helps clearing nausea inducing chemicals out of system. Apple in the form of apple cider vinegar also helps, but beware not to have too much fiber because that may also worsen nausea.

  • Crackers are high starch foods that help absorb stomach acids

  • Ginger can be powdered and put in water

  • Nuts help replenish energy. However, it is important to be aware of allergies.

  • Sports drinks contain electrolytes that help restore nutrients (see recipe below for a homemade recipe).

  • Bananas are a great source of potassium. Depletion of potassium often causes vomiting

This recipe has been a favorite among Optimal RD's clients!

Homemade Electrolyte Replenishment Drink

  • 1 quart coconut water (unsweetened)

  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (such as Himalayan pink salt)

  • ½ cup fruit juice (such as 100% pineapple, orange, or apple juice)

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 10 drops trace mineral concentrate (optional)

 

*Sip on the electrolyte replenishment drink throughout the day and especially after vomiting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

 

 

Sources:

  • https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/nausea-and-vomiting/nausea-and-vomiting.html

  • https://www.breastcancer.org/tips/nutrition/during_treat/side_effects/nausea

  • https://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/diet/foods-that-help-relieve-nausea/

 

 

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