Gastroparesis, like so many other Gastrointestinal conditions, can be tough to live with. Gastroparesis affects the motility of your stomach muscles. Ordinarily, strong, muscular contractions propel your food through the digestive tract. With Gastroparesis, those muscle contractions are weaker and spontaneous. This prevents your stomach from properly emptying and can cause nausea, vomiting, and problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition.
While there is no cure for Gastroparesis, controlling your diet can reduce symptoms.
It’s important not to overfill your stomach. Most physicians recommend eating six smaller meals per day rather than three large meals. This will allow the small amount of food in your stomach to properly digest and increase the absorption of nutrients and vitamins.
You should also eat slower and chew food thoroughly. This will make it easier to digest. During your meal, drink water throughout to help with absorption and digestion and make sure you do not lie down after your meals. Instead, go for a walk after meals.
Finally, avoid late night snacking and smoking.
What to Eat
When choosing your meals think: easy to digest. Things that are hard to digest include:
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Fibrous fruits and vegetables like oranges or broccoli
- High fat foods (fat naturally slows digestion)
- Carbonated beverages
- Food high in fiber or high in indigestible fiber
- Foods that lower esophageal sphincter pressure: peppermint, chocolate, fat, and caffeine
Instead, stick to:
- Well cooked fruits and vegetables
- Low fat foods
- Soups and pureed foods
- Low fiber foods
You should also carefully monitor your blood sugar levels – especially if you are diabetic. Gastroparesis can cause episodes of high and low blood sugar. Controlling your blood sugar can reduce your symptoms.
If you suspect you have Gastroparesis, or would like more information about controlling your Gastroparesis symptoms, give us a call or make an appointment online.