What Is A Gastroparesis Diet?
Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a condition in which food moves too slowly through the digestive tract. The muscle contractions of a normally functioning stomach mechanically breakdown food, propelling it into the small intestine for absorption. With gastroparesis, these muscles are dysfunctional, preventing the stomach from emptying properly. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating, abdominal pain, weight loss and malnutrition. While there is currently no cure for gastroparesis, the dietary and lifestyle modifications may help with signs and symptoms.
Gastroparesis Dietary and Lifestyle Modifications:
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Choose low-fat foods.
- Reduce fiber intake. Avoid fibrous fruits and vegetables like oranges and broccoli. Choose well-cooked fruits and vegetables without seeds and skins.
- Modify the consistency of foods by replacing solid foods with purees and soups.
- Drink water with meals.
- Try gentle exercise after eating.
Foods To Eat
The staples of this kind of diet include high-protein foods and easy-to-digest vegetables. If the food is easy to chew and swallow, that’s a good indication that you’ll have an easier time digesting it. Suggested foods that may help keep your gastroparesis in check:
- Peanut butter
- Breads, hot cereals, and crackers
- Fruit juice
- Vegetable juice (spinach, kale, carrots)
- Fruit Purees
Foods To Avoid
As a general rule, foods that are high in saturated fat or fiber should only be eaten in small amounts. Suggested foods that might make your gastroparesis discomfort worse:
- Carbonated beverages
- Beans and legumes
- Seeds and nuts
- Broccoli and cauliflower
- Heavy cream
- Excess oil or butter
Consult a dietitian to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition. Additionally, speak with your doctor about medications, surgeries and experimental therapies available that may be appropriate for you.