Nausea is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. In fact, these side effects begin to appear shortly after the first dose of chemotherapy drugs are given. Although some people can relieve nausea easily, some other cancer patients have to fight hard to cope.
So, what should be done to treat nausea after chemotherapy? Here’s the explanation.
How to deal with nausea after chemotherapy
Although it is effective in killing cancer cells, chemotherapy also often triggers nausea. The causes vary, starting from the frequency of treatment, drug dosage, and the method of administration of drugs (oral medication or intravenous fluids).
Severe or not felt nausea can vary in each patient. There is only mild nausea that can be treated well, but there are also those who experience severe nausea or even vomiting. This is what causes cancer patients to complain of decreased appetite after chemotherapy.
Well, here are some ways you can treat nausea after chemotherapy. Among them:
1. Take nausea relievers
After the chemotherapy is done, the doctor will usually give you special drugs to relieve nausea. These anti-nausea drugs are also called Antiemetics. The dosage and type of drug vary for each patient, depending on how severe the nausea is.
These anti-nausea medications come in a variety of forms, including pills, intravenous fluids, or suppositories. If the patient experiences nausea and vomiting, the patient may be given nausea relief medication through intravenous fluids or suppositories so that they are not wasted. Consult your doctor to get a nausea reliever medication that suits your condition.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), acupuncture is said to be effective in relieving the annoying side effects of chemotherapy. One of them relieves nausea after chemotherapy.
Quoting from a study published in the journal Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, acupuncture combined with heat therapy called moxibustion can reduce nausea due to chemotherapy drugs.
This is also confirmed by another small study, that cancer patients who have recently undergone radiation and chemotherapy tend to experience less nausea. Also, the doses of anti-nausea drugs given were lower than those who did not do acupuncture.
Although the benefits of acupuncture seem tantalizing, it turns out that not all cancer patients are allowed to do it. Especially cancer patients with low white blood cell count.
If acupuncture is continued, it is feared that it will increase the risk of infection and endanger the patient’s health. We recommend that you consult your doctor first before you decide to try it.
3. Use the principle of “eat little but often”
Nausea due to cancer treatment often makes patients lazy to eat. If eating normal portions makes you nauseous and vomiting, it’s best to use the “small but frequent” principle.
Because after all, cancer patients still have to eat regularly so that their nutritional needs are maintained. If you can’t afford to eat a whole meal straight away, it’s best to take a break every 2-3 hours to eat smaller meals.
Also, pay attention to the type of food consumed. Avoid fried, fatty, and sugary foods because they tend to be difficult to digest. Instead of allowing the patient to eat, these foods can actually make nausea worse.
And most importantly, always meet your body’s fluid needs by drinking at least 8 glasses per day so you don’t get dehydrated.
4. Relaxation techniques
The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that relaxation techniques provide amazing results in reducing nausea after chemotherapy. This type of therapy can help you relax and divert you from nausea.
There are many relaxation techniques you can do. Starting from breathing exercises, music therapy, hypnosis, to meditation. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be to deal with and deal with the annoying side effects of chemotherapy.