When undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer, you may begin to experience nausea when hungry. It’s important to eat before your stomach is completely empty and begins to send hunger signals to your brain. Chemo drugs are very strong and, while they kill the cancer cells, they wreak havoc on other parts of your body including your digestive system.
To decrease the chance of becoming nauseated when you are hungry, eat foods that are easily chewed and swallowed. These foods should not have strong odors, be greasy, too sweet or spicy. Good foods include yogurt, angel food cake, crackers, toast, pretzels, boiled potatoes, noodles, rice, cream of wheat or rice, grits or oatmeal, canned fruits such as peaches, soft, bland vegetables and fruits and skinned broiled or baked chicken. Drink clear fluids like bouillon, apple, cranberry or grape juice, frozen fruit-flavored treats, clear carbonated sodas, plain gelatin and water.
Do not eat large meals. Instead, break your meals up into six smaller meals so you always have a little food on your stomach. Eat slowly and eat more of the foods your stomach is able to tolerate. Do not drink with your meals. Instead, drink a beverage 1/2 hour before or after your meals. Sip your beverages slowly and, if necessary, use a straw.
Make sure your food is cool or at room temperature. Hot food may increase your tendency to nausea, according to Rush University Medical Center. Rest quietly after eating and, if you have nausea in the morning, settle your stomach with crackers or toast before you get out of bed. Don’t make yourself eat something you normally like if it upsets your stomach. Instead, wait until treatment is done before trying to eat it. Wait to eat if you feel nauseated during treatments.