Nausea and vomiting can be caused both by the location of the tumor, as well as by the pharmacological treatments to which patients are subjected, but also by infections, psychological factors and emotional state. If these are not properly managed, they can cause weight loss, dehydration, metabolic problems and electrolyte imbalance.
Nausea is a sensation of discomfort from the stomach, accompanied at times by dizziness, cold sweat and abundant salivation, which can be followed by vomiting.
Vomiting is the rapid and forced emission from the mouth, through the esophagus and pharynx, of the stomach contents and in exceptional cases from the intestine, of food or other ingested substances, gastric juices, mucus and blood.
Oncologists prescribe special medications to fight nausea and vomiting. In addition, it may also be helpful to follow some dietary advice to relieve symptoms. Nutrition can be a good strategy to limit the perception of these unpleasant effects.
- Have small and frequent meals: split meals into 5-6 snacks so that the stomach is never empty, and chew food slowly
- It is preferable to have someone prepare your meals. You can prepare meals, freeze them and then heat them on days when you do not feel well
- Avoid foods with strong smells such as garlic, onions, peppers, horseradish, broccoli, cabbage, etc.
- Avoid sweets, fried foods, fatty foods and very tasty/spicy foods
- Avoid alcoholic and beverages that contain theine or caffeine
- Cold or room-temperature foods are preferable as they have less smell than hot food
- Choose salty and dry foods, with a high content of easy-to-digest carbohydrates(pasta, bread, breadsticks, crackers or rice cakes)
- Brown salted rice cakes are ideal. Alternatively, you can add a pinch of miso (fermented seasoning rich in protein and vital enzymes, consisting of yellow soya, salt, rice or barley)
- Ginger can be helpful – However, do not exceed quantities. Sip a ginger herbal tea, eat candied ginger, or add the fresh chopped root or dried ginger to foods. However, if you have problems with inflammation of the oral cord, the use of ginger is not recommended
- With nausea, initially eat only light foods such as soups or cream puddings and gradually add small portions of your favourite dishes
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and not only during meals. Water and liquids should be sipped e.g. Mint tea, fruit juices and herbal teas.