Nausea can be a distressing side effect of radiation therapy. It varies from person to person and depends on the size and location of the treatment field. It usually occurs 1 to 6 hours after treatment, peaks in 12 hours and disappears. The following suggestions will help control nausea:

  • If you become nauseated at the same time each day, take your nausea medication 1 hour before you become sick.
  • Eat several (6) small meals a day rather than 2 or 3 large ones.
  • Eat and drink slowly. Try:
    • Foods that are cold or room temperature.
    • Bland foods such as mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, etc.
    • Cold clear liquids such as apple juice, jello, popsicles, tea, cola.
  • Eat dry foods such as toast or crackers soon after getting up in the morning.
  • Practice good mouth care. Try rinsing frequently with a weak solution of lemon juice and water.
  • DO NOT lie down for at least one half hour after a meal.
  • AVOID eating or drinking for 1 - 2 hours before and after treatment. If this does not work, try eating a bland meal before treatment.
  • AVOID foods that are greasy, spicy or salty. Example: Fried foods, pizza.
  • AVOID drinking liquids at meal times because this reduces the volume in your stomach. Drink fluids 1 hour before and after meals.
  • AVOID foods with strong odors.
  • AVOID cooking.