Nausea is a common side effect of radiation therapy. Within a few hours of receiving treatment, you may find that your stomach is upset and you may even have the urge to vomit. This does not mean that the cancer is getting worse or that the treatments are not working. You could just be experiencing one of the common radiation side effects.
Here are some tips to help you cope with nausea if you are experiencing it:
1. Go easy on your stomach. Eat smaller amounts more often, and chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Try to avoid foods that are heavy on spices or fats, as these can be a lot for your stomach to digest.
2. Try to eat when you don’t feel sick – perhaps several hours before or after your radiation treatment.
3. Some people find that salty foods and cold foods, along with ice cold drinks, can be helpful in keeping the stomach settled.
4. If you need to lie down, try keeping your head propped up above your stomach.
If you are indeed throwing up as a result of your radiation treatments, you may become dehydrated. Be sure to drink extra water and speak with your health care staff to make sure your body maintains an optimal level of fluids.
As always, if your symptoms seem extreme or give you reason for alarm, alert your doctor or nurse immediately.