Foods to Avoid With Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis means paralysis of the muscles of the stomach. It results in delayed emptying of food from the stomach into the small intestine. Sometimes this may lead to undigested food hardening into solid masses called bezoars. Bezoars can block passages into the intestine and cause vomiting and nausea. Some of the foods associated with bezoar formation include berries, apples, brussel sprouts, oranges, coconuts, corn, figs, green beans, legumes, potato peels, sauerkraut and tomato skins. Gastroparesis may occur in people with type 1 diabetes. One of the main cause of gastroparesis is diabetes mellitus. Gastroparesis can be diagnosed with tests such as x rays, manometry, and gastric emptying scans. Below you will find some of the foods to avoid with gastroparesis.
List of foods to avoid with gastroparesis:
1. Fatty foods: High fatty foods is hard to digest if you have gastroparesis. Fat can delay emptying of the stomach. Consumption of high fat foods may lead to heartburn and GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease). Some of the high fatty foods include whole milk, cheese, butter, fried foods, whipped cream and red meat. Avoiding these foods might help relieve the symptoms. Instead you can use skim milk, low fat yogurt and low fat cheese. Some people may tolerate high fat liquids such as milk shakes, nutritional supplements such as boost, ensure, smoothies and fruit juices. Always consult your health care provider first.
2. Legumes: Another is high fiber foods. Legumes and dried beans contains fiber. Avoid legumes and dried beans such as baked beans, lima beans, pinto beans, lentils, fava beans, navy beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, soy beans, bran and whole grains.
3. Meat: Avoid organ meat, processed meat and red meats. Organ meat such as liver and kidney and processed meat such as hot dog, sausage, luncheon meats and bologna. Red meat such as prime rib and steak is very difficult to digest and also make your symptoms worse.
4. Vegetables: Avoid vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, celery, green peas, winter squash, collard greens, spinach, brussel sprouts, artichoke, coconuts, potato peels and tomato skin.
Avoid raw vegetables and fruits, especially those with hard to digest fibrous skins.
5. Fruits: Fruits to avoid include blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples and strawberries. Also avoid high potassium fruits and acidic fruits. High potassium fruits such as bananas, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, honey dew, avocado, mango, papaya and guava. Acidic fruits include grapefruit, lemons, limes and tangerines.
6. Nuts and seeds: Avoid nuts such as peanuts, cashewnut, walnuts, pecan, soy nuts and chunky nut butters. Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.
7. Dried fruits: Avoid dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, dates, figs and raisins. These fruits contain lot of fiber.
8. High sodium foods: Avoid high sodium and high phosphorous foods if you have gastroparesis and kidney disease. Some of the high sodium foods include soy sauce, frozen dinners, canned dinners, bouillon cubes, canned dinners, steak sauces, prepared barbeque sauces, popcorn, dill pickles and olives.
9. Spices: Avoid spices that can irritate the stomach such as mint, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper, horseradish and chili.
10. High fiber medications: Examples of high fiber medications include polycarbofil (fibercon), methylcellulose (benefiber), inulin (fiber choice) and psyllium (metamucil). Sometimes high fiber medications or bulking agents may delay stomach emptying. Ask your doctor if you are taking any of the fiber medications. These medications that slow contractions in the intestine.
11. Beverages: Avoid alcohol, coffee and cola drinks.
12. Others: Chocolate, bran cereals, shredded wheat type, granolas, grape nuts and cocoa.
If you have diabetic gastroparesis, avoid the above list of foods. Some of the foods to avoid for diabetic gastroparesis include high fiber foods and high fatty foods. Some of the high fiber foods include dried beans, whole grain cereals, seeds, berries, nuts, oats (rolled dry), brown rice, avocado, winter squash, green peas and potato peels. The primary treatment for diabetic gastroparesis is to regain blood glucose levels.
Tips to manage or avoid gastroparesis:
- Eat 6 smaller meals instead of 3 big meals.
- Avoid high fiber foods and fatty foods.
- Try gentle exercise such as going for a walk after you eat
- Do not lie down for at least 1 hour after meals.
- Always keep a food diary. It helps to find out food tolerance/food intolerance.
- Review all medicines with your health care provider. Medicines sometimes can slow down digestion.
- Keep your blood sugar level under control.