What can be done to control or relieve nausea and vomiting?

There are several ways to control or relieve nausea; however, if these techniques do not seem to ease the queasiness, talk to your doctor.

When trying to control nausea:

  • Drink clear or ice-cold drinks.
  • Eat light, bland foods (such as saltine crackers or plain bread).
  • Avoid fried, greasy, or sweet foods.
  • Eat slowly and eat smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Do not mix hot and cold foods.
  • Drink beverages slowly.
  • Avoid activity after eating.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth after eating.
  • Choose foods from all the food groups as you can tolerate them to get adequate nutrition.

Treatment for vomiting (regardless of age or cause) includes:

  • Drinking gradually larger amounts of clear liquids
  • Avoiding solid food until the vomiting episode has passed
  • Resting
  • Temporarily discontinuing all oral medications, which can irritate the stomach and make vomiting worse

If vomiting and diarrhea last more than 24 hours, an oral rehydrating solution should be used to prevent and treat dehydration.

Vomiting associated with surgery, radiation therapy, anticancer drugs, alcohol and morphine can often be treated with another type of drug therapy. There are also prescription and nonprescription drugs that can be used to control vomiting associated with pregnancy, motion sickness and vertigo. However, you should consult with your healthcare provider before using these treatments.

How can you prevent nausea?

Nausea can be prevented by:

  • Eating small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals
  • Eating slowly
  • Avoiding hard-to-digest foods
  • Consuming foods that are cold or at room temperature to avoid becoming nauseated from the smell of hot or warm foods

Resting after eating and keeping your head elevated about 12 inches above your feet helps reduce nausea.

If you feel nauseated when you wake up in the morning, eat some crackers before getting out of bed or eat a high protein snack (lean meat or cheese) before going to bed. Drink liquids between (instead of during) meals, and drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration. Try to eat when you feel less nauseated.

Once you feel nauseated, how do you prevent vomiting?

Vomiting can be prevented by consuming small amounts of clear, sweetened liquids such as soda pop, fruit juices (except orange and grapefruit because these are too acidic) and popsicles. Drinks containing sugar calm the stomach better than other liquids. Rest either in a sitting position or in a propped lying position. Activity may worsen nausea and may lead to vomiting.

For children, control persistent coughs and fever with over-the-counter medicines. To treat motion sickness in a car, seat your child so that he or she faces the front windshield (watching fast movement out the side windows can make the nausea worse).

Limit snacks, and do not serve sweet snacks with regular soda pop. Don't let your kids eat and play at the same time. Encourage them to take a break during their snack time.

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