- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Foods to Eat With Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis also called delayed stomach emptying is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. It occurs when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work properly. In such cases food moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. Some of the symptoms of gastroparesis include heartburn, vomiting of undigested food (many hours after their last meal), nausea, abdominal bloating, early feeling of fullness when eating, weight loss, high blood glucose levels, gastroesophageal reflux and lack of appetite. Gastroparesis may be associated with paralysis of other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Other terms used for this condition include gastric stasis, gastropathy, slow stomach, sluggish stomach. Below you will find some of the foods you can eat with gastroparesis. Always consult your health care provider first.
Causes of gastroparesis:
Some of the causes of gastroparesis include:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Viral infections
- Surgery on the stomach or vagus nerve
- Anorexia nervosa
- Medications such as anticholinergics and narcotics. These drugs that slow contractions in the intestine.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Nervous system diseases such as abdominal migraine and Parkinson's disease
List of foods you can eat with gastroparesis:
1. Vegetables: Some of the vegetables you can eat with gastroparesis include carrots, mushrooms, acorn squash, potatoes (no skin), spinach, beets, tomatoes (no skin), tomato puree, summer squash, strained tomato sauce. Always remove the skin and cook the vegetables well.
2. Fruits and juices: Apple juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, grape juice, prune juice, strained baby fruits, canned fruits without skins such as applesauce, peaches and pears is safe for gastroparesis. Avoid raw, fresh skin on produce such as berries, oranges, plums and skin on apples.
Eating for gastroparesis:
3. Ginger: Ginger aids digestion and relieves nausea and vomiting. You can try drinking a cup of ginger tea about 30 minutes before meals to stimulate gastric juices or after meals to aid digestion. You can use ginger in soups, entrees, baking and marinades. Also you can make ginger syrup at home. It is a mixture of ginger extract and honey or hot water. Ginger is a great home remedy for gastroparesis and has a unique power of healing due to the high contents of volatile oils.
4. Grains: Another good food to eat with gastroparesis is low fiber foods. Low fiber foods and grains is best for gastroparesis. Some of the low fiber grains including white bread, white rice, pasta such as couscous, plain grits, plain oats, plain bagels, white grain waffles, plain roll, breadsicks, toast, cream of rice and cream of wheat.
5. Proteins: Red meat is hard to digest for people with gastroparesis. Instead, you can focus on lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey, non breaded fish like scallops, tuna, oysters, eggs whites, tofu and dairy products. These are rich in protein that digest well with gastroparesis. Consume hot cereals with skim milk, soy or rice milk and liquid nutritional supplements.
Some of the fat free protein sources include egg beaters, egg whites, powdered egg whites, fat free milk, non fat dry milk powder, non fat cottage cheese, non fat yogurt, non fat cottage cheese, evaporated skim milk, fat free luncheon meat, high protein egg whites and high protein broth.
6. Soups: You can make soups with fat freebroth, skim milk, fat free bouillon containing pasta or nooddles. Also you can add ground chicken meat, ground turkey meat, tomato puree and finely chopped and cooked vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms acorn squash.
7.Desserts: Custards and puddings made with skim milk, sherbet, low fat yogurt, vanilla wafers, marshmallows, popsicles, caramels and jelly. you can make shakes with liquid nutritional supplements such as nutra shake, ensure, boost, honey, non fat ice cream (no nuts), syrups, banana and vanilla carnation instant breakfast.
8. Others: Peanut butter 2 tbsp per day, ginger snaps, graham crackers, gatorade, ginger ale, crackers, saltines and pretzels.
It is best to avoid dried fruits, oranges, broccoli, berries, caffeine, popcorn, nuts, seeds and oatmeal. These foods are high in fiber and difficult to digest.
Basic dietary guidelines for gastroparesis:
1.Eat 6 small meals instead of 3 big meals. It helps your stomach from getting full and reduce gastric pressure.
2. Avoid high fiber foods because the indigestible portion remain in the stomach for much longer periods and possibly form bezoars or hard calcifications of food that causes severe vomiting and nausea.Foods associated with bezoar formation include berries, apples, brussel sprouts, oranges, coconuts, corn, figs, green beans, legumes, potato peels, sauerkraut and tomato skins.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol as they trigger symptoms of gastroparesis.
4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.