What is Gastroparesis? What is the best diet for Gastroparesis?

A normal person has their own share of diarrhea, nausea, and other stomach problems. But there exist some people who go through these issues on a regular basis, i.e. every day of living their lives. It’s a condition called Gastroparesis. In this blog, we’ll be sharing the best diet for Gastroparesis.

When a person has Gastroparesis, their stomach muscles are affected in such a way that strong contractions propel the food from their digestive tract. Their stomach’s way of working is slowed down which prevents their stomach from emptying properly.

Replicating the same stomach issues, certain medications like opioid pain relievers, some anti-depressants, some high blood pressure, and allergy pills can also lead to slower gastric emptying.

If you already have Gastroparesis, taking such medicines may worsen your conditions, so they are ill-advised.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Acid reflux
  • Feeling full after eating just a few bites
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Vomiting undigested food hours after eating
  • Weight loss and malnutrition
  • Lack of appetite
  • Changes in blood sugar levels

Signs and symptoms are not just limited to the above, as many people have Gastroparesis without experiencing any symptoms.

What is the cause for Gastroparesis?

The cause of Gastroparesis is linked to the damage of a nerve called the Vagus nerve that controls the stomach and intestinal muscles, although it is still yet to be clinically determined.

This nerve can be affected by diabetes or surgery to the stomach and intestines. The nerve signals the muscles in your stomach to push food into the small intestine. Damaging it can cause food to be for a longer than the required period in your stomach. Thus, making digestion complicated.

The best diet for Gastroparesis

Eat lesser, eat more frequently.

The best diet for Gastroparesis first and foremost includes eating food in smaller portions, more frequently. Reducing your meal size decreases the distension of your stomach from the meal.

Your stomach will empty faster and you will not feel bloated with smaller meals. With a reduced meal size, increase the number of meals to 4-6 meals a day for a panned palate.

Don’t eat fatty foods
Churros, Baking, Cookies, Dessert

Avoid eating solid fats which includes food like desserts, and cookies as these include substances like milk, butter, cream and cheese. This will decrease the load of digestion in your stomach and it will empty faster. Fat-containing liquids like milkshakes can still be tolerable, giving you the required nutrients.

Eat low-fiber food

Fiber is the main cause of delay in gastric emptying. It has the properties to bind together and cause a blockage of the stomach, called bezoar.

Foods that are high in fiber include:-

  • Fruits – apples, berries, figs, coconuts, persimmons, oranges
  • Vegetables – Green beans, green peas, potato peels, brussel sprouts, lettuce, sauerkraut
  • Whole grain cereals/bran
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Dried beans/legumes – lentils, soy beans, baked beans
Chew food well before you swallow
Cactus, Eat, Hunger, Dry

Solid foods in the stomach take longer to digest, and may not digest that well. Inadequate chewing may cause problems in breaking down your food in the stomach. Remember to chew your food thoroughly before you swallow it.

Avoid foods that are hard to chew
Jaws, Shark, Baby Shark, Orca, Boat

Hard to chew food include:-

  • Broccoli
  • Seeds and Nuts
  • Corn
  • Popcorn
Optimize your position

Drinking fluids throughout the meal and sitting upright or walking for an hour or two after your meals may help in digesting your food properly.

Yoga, Meditate, Meditation, Exercise
Intake of Vitamins and Minerals

Taking vitamin and mineral supplements is advisable if adequate nutrition is difficult to take in.

The actual cause

The actual cause of Gastroparesis is unknown. It can interfere with your normal digestion and cause diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, and cause blood sugar level and nutrition problems. Some people develop this disorder after stomach or intestinal surgery.

The actual cure

Although there’s no actual cure for Gastroparesis, medication along with proper changes to your diet can offer some relief.

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