Gastroparesis is caused due to abnormal functioning of the muscles of the stomach. As the muscles do not function normally, food does not get digested and disposed properly. The condition is also known as delayed gastric emptying. Due to abnormal digestion, the blood sugar levels get affected, and essential nutrients do not get absorbed in the body. At the same time, indigestion leads to other disorders like nausea, diarrhea, constipation, etc. The condition occurs when the nerve that controls the stomach muscles gets damaged. The treatment of gastroparesis includes change in diet, as there is no known cure for this condition.
Gastroparesis Diet Guidelines
- People suffering from severe gastroparesis are advised to have a liquid diet, as liquids are easier to digest than solid foods.
- People are also recommended to have foods that are easily digested in the body.
- One of the most important tips to remember while following this diet, is to have smaller meals as less amount of food is definitely easier to digest.
- Fiber, although helps in the digestion of food, should be consumed in limited amounts. This is because certain fibers, like those found in green leafy vegetables, tend to remain in the stomach for a long time.
- Similarly, one should have a low-fat diet as fats also require longer time to get digested.
- It is essential to avoid consumption of foods that cause nausea. At the same time, consumption of alcohol, mint, caffeine should be limited as it affects the process of digestion.
- If you are diabetic, you need to follow the specific diabetic gastroparesis diet plan, which would involve having smaller meals at regular intervals and refraining from staying hungry for a long time. This is helpful in bringing the blood sugar levels under control.
- Lastly, those suffering from this condition should also exercise regularly to improve digestion. They should follow healthy habits like not lying down immediately after meals, in order to prevent indigestion.
The diet plan depends on the severity of the condition, and hence, is found to differ from one person to the other. In the earlier stages, there may be only slight difficulty in digesting the foods; while later the person may have to exclude several foods from his diet, due to difficulties in digestion. You should consult a doctor in order to find out what foods suit you, if suffering from this condition. Following are the lists of foods safe to consume, and foods to avoid, based on the above mentioned guidelines.
Foods Safe to Consume
- Rice, pasta
- Fruits without skin, fruit juices
- Vegetable soups, vegetables without skin, vegetable broth
- Low fat dairy products, skim milk, peanut butter
- Frozen yogurt, jelly, honey
- Eggs, lean fish
- Whole grain products
- Raw vegetables, legumes
- Fatty food, whole dairy products
- Beef, pork, poultry, steaks
- Nuts and seeds, dried fruits
- High fiber foods
You should talk to your doctor, specifically about the intake of fiber and fat. If you find it easier to digest fat, you can include small amounts in your diet. Similar is the case with fiber containing foods. Secondly, liquid diet is meant only for people who cannot digest solid foods. Maintaining a food diary can help in keeping a track of foods that cause discomfort.
Following the gastroparesis diet helps in treating the condition to a great extent. If the diet plan is followed properly, the person may be able to get rid of most of the symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Lastly, it is recommended to consult a doctor before following this diet. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical professional.