Managing Eating Problems During Cancer Treatment: Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are often side effects of chemotherapy or radiation to the abdomen. It is common to be nauseated before vomiting. Try the following suggestions.

  • Locate dry crackers on the bedside table to nibble on before moving from the bed in the morning.
  • Choose foods without a strong cooking odor.
  • Eat in a cool room without cooking odors or other strong smells.
  • Avoid overly spicy, overly fat, or overly sweet foods.
  • Sip on ginger tea when feeling nauseated.
  • Drink beverages between meals, not during meals.
  • Drink well-chilled beverages, or freeze favorite beverages into ice cubes.
  • Eat before getting hungry, since hunger increases nausea.
  • Avoid eating solid foods until nausea passes.
  • Keep a food/symptom log to help identify foods that cause problems.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes.
  • Ask the doctor or nurse about medicine to help limit nausea and vomiting. Take medicine regularly as ordered.
  • Drink eight or more cups of fluids each day, adding one half to one cup with each episode of vomiting.

UI Cancer Information Service