Tips for dealing with feeling and being sick

Feeling and being sick can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer, or a side effect of some treatments. There are ways to manage sickness.

Feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting) can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer, or a side effect of some treatments, such as chemotherapy.

If you are having problems with feeling and being sick, speak to your medial team. There are anti-sickness medicines that can help. If one type of medicine doesn’t work, try a different type, or a combination of drugs.

  • Nausea is often worse when the stomach is empty. Even eating a little dry toast may help.
  • Try plain foods, for example, toast, plain rice or biscuits.
  • Try sipping cold fizzy drinks between meals. It may help to let them go flat first.
  • Try salty foods, such as crisps and salted nuts.
  • Try food or drink containing ginger, such as ginger ale, ginger teas and ginger biscuits.
  • Eat meals slowly and try to sit up for an hour afterwards.
  • Drink plenty if you are able to, so that you don’t get dehydrated. This is where your body loses more water than it takes in. This is especially important if you are being sick. Try to have nutritious drinks, such as milk, milkshakes, lassis, fruit juice, smoothies and soup.
  • If the smell of cooking makes you feel sick, ask someone to cook for you, use ready meals, or get takeaways.
  • Try eating cold foods, which smell less than hot food.
  • Try getting some fresh air before a meal. If the weather is good, eat outside, or eat by an open window.

If you are being sick a lot and struggling to keep down food or drink, phone your doctor or nurse straight away. This can mean something is wrong. It can lead to dehydration. Your medical team can treat this, so get their advice.

Updated March 2023

Review date March 2025