Friend & Foe Foods for Sufferers Of Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis, the long and ugly word for what happens when the stomach doesn't digest food properly, doesn't necessarily condemn the sufferer to a life of lemon water and soda crackers. Sure, the slow emptying of your guts isn't to be taken lightly, as the accompanying nausea, heartburn and weight loss will confirm, but the good news is that with some minor but important lifestyle and dietary changes, gastroparesis can be managed effectively.
If you've been diagnosed with gastroparesis, you already know the basics. If you're new to this guts game, here are the tips that every MD agrees will be a good blueprint for relief.
- Eat small meals more frequently
- Keep a food diary to identify particular foods that cause problems
- Reduce stress
- Don't lie down after eating
- Introduce exercising into your daily routine to improve digestion
Another tip that will help to make your daily digestion less all consuming and confusing is to create a daily meal plan to ensure success. The foods you incorporate into your daily diet need to be low-residue, aka, easy to digest. This unfortunately is a fair amount of foods that are processed and refined such as white breads, white rice and cereals, which are often not considered part of a healthy diet. But there are fresh and flavorful additional options for a low-residue diet. They include:
Fruits and vegetables like: applesauce, bananas, beans, beets, canned fruit, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, lettuce and peaches.
Carbohydrates like: bagels, chips, noodles, English muffins, potatoes, plain cereals, refined breads and pasta.
Flavorful dinnertime choices like: tender meat, broth-based soups, salads, and stuffed peppers.
Quick and nutritious snack time ideas like: yogurt, smoothies, fruit salad and low fat milkshakes
Speaking of fats, for gastroparesis sufferers, a low fat diet is preferred. The reason for this is that fat digests more slowly and can take awhile to leave the stomach. This can make it difficult for some people to get enough calories in their diet. Thus a liquid fat like a tasty fruity milkshake can both be filling and be helpful to prevent weight loss due to gastroparesis.
Another liquid over solid option is a smoothie. Most people with gastroparesis can digest liquids, even when solids are a problem. Smoothies are a great way to ensure appropriate nutrition and help to decrease symptoms from digesting solid foods. Nutritional supplements that come in assorted flavors, like Boost and Ensure, may also be helpful to fill a hunger gap with no ill affects.
The trickiest part of the gastroparesis diet is that it dodges fiber, because it is hard to digest. Normally high fiber is an MD recommendation, something to engage your innards and provide better vitamin absorbency, but not when your stomach is slow on the upkeep. The main offenders to avoid are:
- high-fiber breads and cereals
- nuts and seeds
- dried fruits
- raw fruits like berries, oranges, apples and persimmons
- high fiber vegetables such as peas, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn, sauerkraut, tomato and potato skins
If a dietary and lifestyle adjustment isn't providing the relief from gastroparesis you need, there is a medicinal option in the form of prescription domperidone. Both domperidone, and its equivalent name brand Motilium, have been available in Canada for many years. If you want to explore how domperidone for gastroparesis can help you, the first step is to obtain a Motilium prescription (allowing for the generic domperidone substitution) from your doctor. Step two is to find a reputable online pharmacy from which to buy domperidone economically. The Canadian International Pharmacy Institute website (CIPA) is a good place to start looking.
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