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Managing Nausea

Listed below are some proven tactics shared with me over the years from both clients and patients, as well as evidence-based research. 

NIP IT EARLY:  Most all patients undergoing treatment have been given prescriptions for anti-nausea medications.  Pay attention to your body and take your medication, as prescribed, as soon as you feel nausea start to occur.  Some patients and clients find that it’s best for them to take their medication, i.e., Zofran (just one of many options your doctor may prescribe you), as soon as they wake up – before their feet hit the floor.  Also, oral medications take around 30 to 60 minutes to work, so if you wait until you are gagging or throwing up, you are already behind the 8 ball.  If the medications you have been prescribed by your oncologist are not working, and you are taking them as prescribed, call their office and ask about other alternative medications as there are a plethora of anti-nausea medications on the market that work on different nausea receptors…so don’t be afraid to speak up, and let them know that what was prescribed isn’t working.  It’s better to be the squeaky wheel and advocate for yourself, rather than suffer needlessly or end up in the emergency department for dehydration tip.

UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE UNIQUE:  Learn to listen to your body, and learn what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. There is no cookie-cutter answer.  How your body responds can be in complete opposition to how someone else with your same cancer and same treatment responds.

HARD CANDIES:  During the day, suck on hard candies, i.e., peppermint lemon drops or ginger.

WAIT & REST:  Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you eat as this may activate your gag reflex. Also, allow your body to rest 30 to 60 minutes after a meal before you attempt any type of physical activity.

SIT UP AFTER EATING:  After eating, stay in an upright position to allow your food to digest.  In other words, avoid laying down after you eat.  If you need a nap, do so in a more upright position.

CHOSE WISELY:  Focus on foods that are bland and soft. It is best to avoid foods that are spicy, greasy, or sweet.   

COLD THERAPY:  Chew on soft ice throughout the day, or suck on popsicles periodically. This does not apply if you are on Oxaliplatin as cold temperatures must be avoided.

SLOW & SMALL:  Instead of trying to eat three main meals a day, try the grazing approach and slowly eat five to six meals throughout the day. Never rushed to eat.

WATCH OUT FOR SMELLS:  Smells play an important role when eating, and powerful, pungent, and overwhelming smells can turn nausea on quickly. When cooking and eating make sure the area is well ventilated and has air movement.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: As stated above, some patients function better by taking an anti-nausea medication as soon as they wake up. Discover what works for you, and make sure your doctor is aware of what’s working for you.

Hope you find this helpful.  As always, I’m here for you. If you’d like to talk or ask me specific questions, please click HERE and select a day and time that works best for your schedule :)

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