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Nausea and Vomiting
Try these tips to control the queasy feeling in your throat or stomach called nausea--and the misery of vomiting.
What are nausea and vomiting?
Nausea is a queasy feeling in the back of your throat or stomach that may make you feel like you could gag or vomit (throw up). Vomiting is your body’s way of trying to empty your stomach.
Both of these symptoms have many causes. They can make you feel weak and sick—and keep you from getting enough nutrients and rest.
What may cause nausea and vomiting?
What may cause a person to feel nauseated or vomit while they are in hospice care?
Medications, such as antibiotics, antidepressants or aspirin (ask your Agrace nurse if the medications you are taking could cause nausea and vomiting)
Damage to your stomach and lining of your intestines caused by your illness or treatments
Other uncontrolled symptoms, such as anxiety or pain
Coughing, thick mucus (may trigger vomiting)
What can relieve nausea and vomiting?
If you can manage nausea, it may stop you from vomiting. Your Agrace team will try to learn what is causing these symptoms and discuss treatments with you.
Foods and drinks to try if you have nausea
Toast and crackers
Angel food cake
Chicken without skin (baked or broiled)
Fruits or vegetables that are soft or bland (potatoes, canned peaches)
Ginger, herbal remedies
Carbonated drinks that have gone flat
Sports drinks (such as Gatorade®); with children use Pedialyte®
Foods and drinks to avoid if you have nausea
Fatty, greasy or spicy foods
Dairy products, such as milk and ice cream
Foods with strong odors
Citrus foods, such as oranges and grapefruit
Acidic juices, such as cranberry, grape and apple
Foods containing caffeine, such as coffee or chocolate
General tips for nausea
Eat foods at room temperature or cooler; hot foods may trigger nausea.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Choose favorite foods when able.
Suck on ice chips or sip liquids such as ginger ale.
Don’t force eating—even favorite foods—when you have nausea; you may lose your taste for that food in the future.
Rest sitting up for one to two hours after meals to digest food more easily.
If nausea is a problem in the morning, keep dry toast or crackers by the bed and eat before getting up.
Adjusting your room or space
Avoid strong odors like perfume and deodorizers.
Keep the room at a comfortable room temperature; cool may help.
Eat in a place where you can enjoy the food.
Stay out of rooms that have strong odors or poor airflow.
Use a fan to keep air moving across the face.
Other comfort measures
Clean your mouth before and after meals.
Tell your Agrace team right away if you think constipation is becoming a problem.
Try relaxation techniques, such as deep, controlled breathing and meditation.
Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Keep track of when nausea occurs and what causes it (specific foods, events or settings).
Suggestions for managing vomiting
Caregivers: When a person is vomiting while lying down, turn their head to the side to prevent choking.
After vomiting, rinse the mouth and/or brush teeth.
Place a cool, damp cloth on your forehead, neck and wrists.
Try small amounts of clear liquids (apple juice, bouillon, gelatin) after vomiting has stopped; call the Agrace nurse if you are unable to tolerate any fluids.
Try non-clear liquids if clear liquids stay down; gradually work up to your regular diet if you are able.
When to tell Agrace about nausea or vomiting
Your Agrace team wants to know how nausea and vomiting are affecting you. We will keep trying to find something that works to help you feel better, including medications.
Call Agrace if:
Nausea or vomiting is making it hard to do or enjoy things that are important to you.
Your nausea or vomiting symptoms are getting worse.
You have tried some of the tips on this page and you still aren’t feeling better.
Call Agrace anytime you have questions or concerns about nausea and vomiting.