Dry heaves are treated by temporarily avoiding solid foods, drinking clear liquids, taking an over-the-counter medication for nausea and by slowly reintroducing food once the stomach has settled, according to the University of Texas at Austin. The condition is usually self-limiting and responds well to self-care.
Temporarily halting solid foods is the first step in treating dry heaves, states the University of Texas at Austin. This gives the gastrointestinal system a chance to stabilize. It's important to continue drinking small amounts of clear liquids in order to prevent dehydration. These include water, broth, sports drinks and flat ginger ale or other sodas. Initially, ice chips or popsicles may be better tolerated.
Soft, bland foods may be reintroduced once liquids have been tolerated for 24 hours, according to eMedicineHealth. Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, mainstays of the BRAT diet, are easy to digest. Potatoes, pasta without sauce, gelatin and crackers are also good choices. If vomiting or dry heaving begins again, switch back to clear liquids for at least another 12 hours.
Dry heaving, or retching, is the act of vomiting on an empty stomach, explains eMedicineHealth. It may occur after stomach contents have been expelled in a previous bout of vomiting, or on its own.