When a cancer patient undergoes chemotherapy, there are several possible side effects that happen in a long term, including nausea. Cancer treatment period usually makes patients thin and weak because nausea prevents them from eating and drinking properly. If neglected, this can result in more serious condition, and the degradation of health in cancer patients.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, or having a loved one who suffers from cancer, make sure you know how to deal with nausea that results from chemotherapy.
Tips to Handle Nausea from Cancer Treatment
Although not all people experience it, expect for the nausea during cancer treatment after the condition is diagnosed. Here are some suggestions from the American Cancer Society to handle nausea during chemotherapy:
Eat small meals instead of large meals.
Smaller meals are easier to keep down than large meals, so cancer patient should stick to eating 5 to 6 times a day instead of eating 3 large meals. This must be accompanied by drinking enough fluid (preferably water), so the risk of nausea is smaller.
Discuss with the doctor about the nausea.
Cancer patient must tell the doctor when experiencing nausea, because doctor is able to give good suggestions of how to reduce nausea. Doctor may also adjust some aspects in the cancer treatment to reduce nausea. Patient, doctor and caretaker can also discuss the best menu plan, balanced for small but frequent meals that can sustain the patient well.
Don’t eat greasy foods.
Greasy foods tend to be easier to prepare or get (such as from fast food joints), but such foods will make cancer patient feels nauseous easier. The best foods to eat during cancer treatment are well-balanced and nutritious. Consuming fresh fruits and light vegetable dish such as warm soup is great for nutritious consumption without exaggerating the nausea. Plus, greasy foods are generally harder to digest, resulting in more severe stomach problem.
Take it easy after eating.
Cancer patient should give his or her digestion system a chance to properly digest the meals, in order to avoid stomach problem, including nausea. After eating, sit in relaxed position, with the back propped with several pillows or comfortable chair. However, don’t lie flat in the back, as this position will disrupt digestion.
Eat and drink something in room temperature.
Foods and drinks with room temperature are better for cancer patients, since they don’t aggravate the nausea. Hot or cold foods and drinks can trigger nausea. It is better to wait for a while before eating so the foods only taste warm, but not hot.
Reduce possibilities to smell strong odor.
We don’t talk about odor from trash here, but something more innocent: the smell of food. Cancer patients often find that the mere aroma of foods trigger their nausea. This problem can be solved by staying away from restaurant, cooking “clean” without too many sharply-smelled ingredients, and installing fan in the kitchen or dining room.
With these simple steps, nausea during cancer treatment will no longer be a big trouble for the patients.