Vomiting

Vomiting may follow nausea and may be brought on by treatment, food odors, gas in the stomach or bowel, or motion. In some people, certain associations or surroundings, such as the hospital, may cause vomiting. As with nausea, some people have vomiting right after treatment, while others don’t have it until a day or more after treatment.

If vomiting is severe or lasts for more than a day or two, contact your doctor. He or she may give you an antiemetic medication to control nausea and vomiting.

Very often, if you can control nausea, you can prevent vomiting. At times, though, you may not be able to prevent either. Relaxation exercises or meditation may help you. These usually involve deep rhythmic breathing and quiet concentration, and can be done almost anywhere. If vomiting does occur, try these suggestions to help prevent further episodes:

  • Do not eat or drink anything until you have the vomiting under control.
  • Once the vomiting is under control, try small amounts of clear liquids, such as water or bouillon.
  • Begin with 1 teaspoonful every 10 minutes, gradually increasing the amount to 1 tablespoon every 20 minutes. Finally, try 2 tablespoons every 30 minutes.
  • When you are able to keep down clear liquids, try a full-liquid diet or a soft diet. Continue taking small amounts as often as you can keep them down. If you feel okay, gradually work up to your regular diet. If you have a hard time digesting milk, you may want to try a soft diet instead of a full- liquid diet, because a full-liquid diet includes a lot of milk products. Ask a registered dietitian for information about a soft diet.
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