Nausea and Vomiting

Management of nausea

Nausea and vomiting are bothersome symptoms of IBD. Here are some tips for managing nausea:

  • Eat small meals and snacks frequently throughout the day. An empty stomach can worsen nausea.

  • Eat slowly so your stomach does not fill up too quickly.

  • Eat plain foods. Avoid spicy, high fat, or very sweet foods.

  • Avoid alcohol.

  • Drink at least 30 to 60 minutes before or after a meal instead of during the meal.

  • Wear loose fitting clothing.

  • Try to rest but avoid lying down for at least one hour after eating.

  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. An unpleasant taste in your mouth can make your nausea worse.

  • Some people find ginger helpful in reducing nausea.

  • Talk to your IBD team about the possibility of using acupuncture or acupressure if you are interested in these types of treatments.

  • Avoid bothersome smells, such as cooking odours. Open the window or use a fan before meals. Eat cold or room temperature foods and drinks.

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Management of vomiting

Here are some general tips for dealing with vomiting if you have Crohn's or colitis:

  • Avoid solid foods if you are vomiting.

  • Avoid drinking fluids for 30 minutes after vomiting. Then start with small amounts of water or clear fluids every 10 to 30 minutes to help replace any lost fluids. Throughout the day, try to drink at least nine glasses of water.

  • Clear fluids include water, broth, flavoured gelatin, popsicles, fruit juice, sports drinks (not energy drinks), and tea.

  • If you are able to drink fluids without vomiting, try some bland food such as canned fruit, crackers, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, pretzels, white bread, white rice, or pasta. Then start eating a variety of foods when you are ready.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have been vomiting for more than 24 hours, you have a fever, you have pain, bloating, or a swollen stomach, or if you do not feel better after vomiting.

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