Sickness and vomiting
Sickness and vomiting self-help tips
Alongside taking anti-sickness drugs, there are things you can do yourself to lessen the effects of sickness and vomiting.
It’s important to take the medication your healthcare team recommends, as this can help to prevent sickness and vomiting. Some people find the following self-help tips can also make a difference.
Eating and drinking
If strong smells make you feel sick, try avoiding hot food. Many people find it smells stronger than food that’s cold or room temperature.
- Try to avoid cooking when you’re feeling sick.
- Cook and freeze meals in advance or ask someone else to cook.
- Avoid fried, spicy and very sweet foods. Plain, bland foods may be easier to eat.
- Prepare small meals and eat little and often.
- Chew your food well and sip drinks slowly.
- Avoid drinking a lot before you eat.
- Try to make sure you drink enough fluids. If you don’t feel like drinking, you might find it easier to suck on ice cubes.
- Some people find peppermint tea, peppermints, ginger beer or ginger biscuits helpful.
If you’re worried you’re not eating or drinking enough, speak to your healthcare team who will be able to help. They may offer you high-calorie drinks to make sure your body gets what it needs. Or they may refer you to a dietitian.
Complementary therapies are treatments that are used alongside standard medical treatments – not instead of them. Although the evidence is limited, some people find that complementary therapies (such as acupuncture, wearing an acupressure bracelet, meditation and relaxation techniques) help relieve their symptoms and improve their wellbeing.
Always talk to your healthcare team before you try complementary therapies to check that they’re safe for you. They know you and your individual situation.
Other tips to try
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Avoid nasty smells as much as possible.
- Open a window or go outside to get fresh air.
- Distract yourself with activities such as reading a magazine or watching a film.
Getting help if you're feeling low
If sickness is making you feel very low, ask your clinical nurse specialist (CNS) about getting emotional support, or contact our free, confidential Support Service.