Nausea while undergoing chemotherapy is a common problem facing many cancer patients and depends on the chemotherapy drug used and your own personal biochemistry. But there is a lot you can do to prevent nausea during chemotherapy, or at least to reduce the symptoms. People with a history of vomiting, women, and those below 50 years of age are more vulnerable.
Patients can receive anti-nausea (anti-emetic) drugs to prevent nausea. These drugs, given alone or in combination, may be given orally or intravenously. Anti-nausea drugs are usually given before treatment and/or on a scheduled basis for several hours or days during or after treatment.
However, you do not need to wait for the drugs. There are a number of options you can follow yourself:
But always tell your doctor what you are doing. There are now so many options available. There is simply no need to suffer in silence.
- Eat small meals but more often. At CANCERactive we believe people should graze with 5 or 6 small meals per day, not one or two big ones.
- Eat the foods you fancy. It may sound odd, but many people on chemo cannot stand the smell or taste of certain foods the pungent or spicy.
- Prepare meals in advance. Especially if cooking makes you feel nauseous.
- Drink lots of fluids. Many patients do not like hot sugary drinks.
- Try peppermint tea found to be very soothing. Some people simply keep peppermints on them at all times!
- Try ginger tea by slicing or crushing fresh ginger and pouring hot water over it. You may even find chewing a piece of fresh ginger helps significantly. There is even Clinical Research on the benefit of ginger with nausea and chemotherapy patients. You can sweeten the tea with Manuka Honey.
- Look for Medicinal Mushroom extracts research is clear that certain of them aid chemotherapy and reduce side-effects significantly. (See our article by clicking here). Another product, a brand called MGN-3 or Biobran, has its fans too click here to read about it.
- Use relaxation techniques - like meditation and deep breathing.
- Try Acupuncture - this can be extremely effective.
- See a homeopath some of their nosodes can be particularly effective.
Remember to eat nourishing whole foods and take a multi-strain probiotic, the Chinese herb astragalus and vitamin D supplement which have all been shown in research to aid the success of your chemotherapy in terms of nourishment and survival.