Many people suffer from Gastroparesis due to their busy lifestyles. Here we share a Gastroparesis Diet Handout along with effective home remedies. Let us understand a little about the causes and symptoms of Gastroparesis before getting into the details of the diet handout and home remedies.
Causes of Gastroparesis
In many cases, it is not so clear what causes gastroparesis. Such a condition is called idiopathic gastroparesis. One of the reasons could be the Vagus nerves which control the muscles of the stomach. There are many other factors too such as hypothyroidism, untreated diabetes, radiation therapy, abdominal surgery, and also some nervous system diseases.
The common factor is eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia can increase the risk of developing gastroparesis.
What are the symptoms of gastroparesis?
The main symptoms of gastroparesis are:
- unintended weight loss
- upper abdominal pain
- repeated lung infections or pneumonia
- swollen abdomen
- low appetite
- fluctuation in blood sugar levels
feeling full even after eating a very small amount of food
The above symptoms of severity can be different from person to person. It is always advisable to seek medical help so that it is controlled at the early stages.
Best 10 Home Remedies for Gastroparesis
There are simple home remedies for Gastroparesis anyone could choose along with a certain lifestyle and diet to recover fast. Even those who have gastroparesis for years can expect to recover within weeks.
1. Probiotic Foods
Probiotic is a live microorganism consisting of several digestive benefits if consumed in adequate amounts. The characteristic of probiotic microorganisms is it is capable of breaking down the food and absorbing nutrients.
Probiotic foods are like kefir Greek yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, sour pickles, and buttermilk. In stores pro-biotic supplements also available better consult a doctor before use.
2. Aloe Vera
People suffer from gastroparesis could eat Aloe Vera to get relief. Aloe Vera regulates bowel moments in your stomach and helps digestion.
For a good digestive system, Aloe Vara supports well and gives you relief from stomach pain and bloating.
Aloe Vera can be consumed as a juice. One cup a day when you wake up every day in the morning to get a good bowel movement. Take two tables spoons of Aloe Vera gel and blend with one cup of water or orange juice using a blender to make Aloe Vera juice.
Based on your condition of the gastroparesis Aloe Vera juice can be taken before meals also.
Overdose always no good for anything and the same goes with Aloe Vera. You should not take Aloe Vera juice more than 2 tablespoons at a time. Ideally once a day is good enough.
Aloe Vera has also considered one of the good home remedies for Gastroparesis due to its ability to cure faster.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is used for many ailments and gastroparesis is no exception. Apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy for gastroparesis for relieving abdominal pain, bloating, and heartburn while improving your digestion.
A recent study by the BMC Gastroenterology journal in patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus reveals vinegar is effective against the gastroparesis as well.
Use raw one teaspoon full of unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink 15 minutes before your meal three times a day.
4. Vitamin D
Adequate Vitamin D is a must for people who are suffering from gastroparesis. Morning sunshine gives natural vitamin D to your body which plays a key role in your body for an enteric nervous system.
Inadequate vitamin D can affect your body’s immune, neurological and digestion.
A Recent study by Hormone and Metabolic Research reveals that an increase in vitamin D in the human body improves gastric motility of gastroparesis patients.
This is a very cool home remedy because it’s so simple to get on to your body. Just walk out in the early morning and take good morning sunlight over your body.
Vitamin D rich food also can be consumed, such as fortified cereals, soy products, and fortified milk.
5. Acupressure and Acupuncture
Acupressure and Acupuncture medicine techniques for gastric emptying stomach is Acupressure and acupuncture. In this technique, thin needles are inserted over the median lines of the body or fingers are pressed over the acupoints.
This treatment improves body neurological functions and boosts immunity. Give relief from gastroparesis against the symptoms of bloating, vomiting and nausea.
Acupressure and Acupuncture also improve oxygen-rich blood circulation over the body by which makes a digestive system to function properly.
A recent study by the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine that Acupressure and acupuncture have therapeutic effects on diabetic gastroparesis in addition to controlling blood sugar in the body.
Immediate relief from stomach problems is experienced by pressing acupressure points PC6 that is on the wrist and ST36 located on the front of the leg and below the kneecap for a few minutes. Always good to seek doctor advice to treat gastroparesis symptoms with acupuncture.
6. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is nothing but giving your internal organs a good exercise and making them stronger and healthy. It helps to stimulate the vagus nerve and increases blood flow towards the digestive tract enabling good digestion by good bowel movements.
Using this Deep breathing technique can get relief from nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, and vomiting which are the symptoms of gastroparesis. This happened to be one of my favorite home remedies for Gastroparesis.
How to do deep breathing
- Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and keep your hands above the hips and side of your abdomen.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose and allow your stomach and abdomen to expand fully.
- Hold your breath for just about 3 seconds.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for about 5 seconds that is longer than your inhalation.
- Repeat this breathing exercise for a few minutes that is comfortable for you. Please never overdo.
- This exercise can be done any number of times in a day. Good to start in the morning after clearing the bowels before breakfast.
Deep breathing is a pure simple one of the best home remedies for Gastroparesis. Apart from that it also got many benefits to maintaining good health.
7. Virgin Coconut Oil
As you all know Virgin coconut oil has become famous and is used in various ways. The fatty acids found in coconut oil are what make a difference in the digestive system.
Meaning fatty acids do not depend on bile salts and enzymes for its digestion. This oil by nature controls the inflammation and assist improve the immune system and good for the digestion system.
- Add one teaspoon full of virgin coconut oil to a ¼ cup of water. Warm in the microwave or on a stove melt oil thoroughly in the water. Instead of water could mix in a cup of tea as well.
- Drink this solution before every meal.
Ginger the great Ginger. There is no doubt that Ginger has natural qualities to treat gastroparesis. It stimulates digestion juices and the enzymes very well for the food to digest properly empty the stomach much faster clear nausea.
How to consume ginger for gastroparesis:
- Mix one or two teaspoons full of ginger juice in a cup of warm water and drink 30 minutes before the meal.
- Drinking a few cups of ginger tea daily also will do good. Making ginger tea is very easy. Boil 1 to 1½ cup of water and add about five ginger slices allowing to simmer for 5 minutes.
- The next option is to take ginger supplements. Remember to seek doctor advice before taking ginger supplements.
Ginger health benefits are huge and it is worth checking on that.
Peppermint has the necessary properties to give relief from vomiting and nausea the symptoms of gastroparesis. It has qualities to help digestion and treat intestinal cramps and bloating.
- Put few peppermint oils on the handkerchief and keep smelling often to get relief from nausea.
- Drinking peppermint tea is good for digestion. To make peppermint tea, use dried peppermint leaves in a hot cup of for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea before drinking.
- Peppermint oil capsules also help as an alternative but seek doctors’ advice before use.
Fluids or liquids importantly water intake should be increased to treat gastroparesis. Water provides sufficient alkalizing pancreatic juices to avoid pyloric valve from opening. Meaning helps in reducing the result of the discomfort of gastroparesis.
- Drink water in small quantities at regular intervals.
- Intake of fruit juices or vegetable juices also good.
- Consuming clear soups or broths can be another way to increase fluids intake.
Gastroparesis Diet Handout
Here is the food for gastroparesis recommended by the Digest Health Center of Virginia University.
Bread – White bread and “Light” whole wheat bread (no nuts, seeds, etc.), including French/Italian, Bagels (plain or egg), English muffin, Plain roll, Pita bread, Tortilla (flour or corn), Pancake, Waffle, Naan, Flatbread
Cereals – Quick oats (plain), Grits, Cream of Wheat, Cream of Rice, Puffed Wheat, and rice cereals such as Cheerios, Sugar Pop, Kix, Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Cocoa Krispies.
Grains/Potatoes – Rice (plain), Pasta, macaroni (plain), Bulgur wheat (couscous), Barley, Sweet and white potatoes (no skin, plain), Yams, French fries (baked)
Crackers/Chips – Arrowroot, Breadsticks, Matzoh, Melba toast, Oyster, Pretzels, Saltines, Soda, Zwieback, Water crackers, Baked potato chips, Pretzels
2. MEATS, FISH, POULTRY, ETC – GROUND OR PUREED
Beef -Baby beef, Chipped beef, Flank steak, Tenderloin, Plate skirt steak, Round (bottom or top), Rump
Veal – Leg, Loin, Rib, Shank, Shoulder
Pork – Lean pork, Tenderloin, Pork chops, Ham
Poultry (skinless) – Chicken, Turkey
Wild Game (no skin) – Venison, Rabbit, Squirrel, Pheasant, Duck, Goose
Fish/Shellfish – (fresh or frozen, plain, no breading) Crab, Lobster, Shrimp,
Clams, Scallops, Oysters, Tuna (in water)
Cheese – Cottage cheese, Grated Parmesan
Eggs – (no creamed or fried), Egg white, Egg substitute Tofu, Strained baby meats (all)
3. VEGETABLES (Cooked, and if necessary, blenderized/strained)
Beets, Tomato sauce, Tomato juice, Tomato paste or purée, Carrots, Strained baby vegetables (all), Mushrooms, Vegetable juice
4. FRUITS AND JUICES (Cooked and, if necessary, blenderized/strained)
Fruits, Applesauce, Banana, Peaches (canned), Pears (canned), Strained baby fruits (all), Juices (all), Fruit Drinks, Fruit-flavored beverages
5. MILK PRODUCTS (if tolerated)
Milk – any as tolerated, Chocolate, Buttermilk, Yogurt (without fruit pieces), Frozen yogurt, Kefir (liquid yogurt), Evaporated milk, Condensed milk, Milk powder, Custard/pudding
Broth, Bouillon, Strained creamed soups (with milk or water)
Hot cocoa (made with water or milk), Kool-Aid®, Lemonade, Tang and similar powdered products, Gatorade® or Powerade ®, Soft drinks, Coffee/ coffee drinks, Tea/ Chai
Cranberry sauce (smooth), Fat-free gravies, Molly McButter®, Butter Buds, Mustard, Ketchup, Vegetable oil spray, Soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce, Tabasco® sauce, Vanilla and other flavoring extracts, Vinegar
Angel food cake, Animal crackers, Gelatin, Gingersnaps, Graham crackers, Popsicles, Plain sherbet, Vanilla wafers, Gum, Gumdrops, Hard candy, Jellybeans, Lemon drops, Rolled candy (such as Lifesavers), Marshmallows Seedless jams and jellies
10. Vitamins and mineral supplements
Because gastroparesis patients restrict their diet, they may often face nutritional deficiencies. A general multivitamin such as Centrum ™ may be ideal to start with. Always check with your Dietitian if you are avoiding a number of foods.
Read our article on the base gastroparesis meal plan which is useful and for a betting understanding where to start.
Gastroparesis Diet Plan for Diabetics
The Digestive Health Center of the University of Virginia talks what should be the important goal of gastroparesis caused by diabetes. It says here too the main goal should be controlling the glucose level. The best way to regulate the blood glucose level is by monitoring adjusting the intake of insulin every day.
You need to understand that your food intake tends to be inconsistent if you have gastroparesis. As a result, the blood levels keep fluctuating throughout the day. Therefore, here is the Digestive Health Center recommendations on how to eat every day. This is based on your insulin medication.
- Eat 5 meals a day: Adopt this eating style instead of 3 large meals. Each meal should have about 42 to 48 grams of carbohydrates.
Rapid-acting insulin intake: If you in this type of medication then need to adjust the amount of insulin intake before the meal. Need to take into account the amount of carbohydrate in the meal. This method is known as the insulin to carbohydrate ratio.
- Fixed doses of acting insulin: In this case important to maintain the same amount of carbohydrate intake. This helps in avoiding low blood sugar levels too.
Other points to note are:
- Always ensure sitting up while eating and drinking
- Opting for solid food earlier in the day and liquid food later in the day.
- Check the blood glucose level before a meal and then adjust the insulin intake accordingly.
You can read our article on the base gastroparesis meal plan for diabetics. It will be useful to understand where to begin with.
Turn Healthy Channel on Diabetic Gastroparesis Diet and Remedies
The Turn Healthy is a YouTube Channel that dedicates its services, advocating for people to have a healthy lifestyle. You can view and listen to the video published by Turn Healthy all about Gastroparesis including an appropriate diet plan for diabetes. It’s worth watching!
Food to avoid for Gastroparesis
Here is the list of foods to avoid by those having gastroparesis disorder according to Crystal Zaborowski Saltrelli the health coach. She talks about two types of foods.
1. Avoid foods specifically associated with bezoar formation
- Brussel sprouts
- green beans
- potato peels and
2. Avoid High Fiber Supplements
- Fibercon and
Also avoid other medications such as Carafate that are used to treat ulcers in intestines.
Interview with Crystal Saltrelli
At the age of 23 Crystal Saltrelli, now a health coach was diagnosed with Gastroparesis. She learned through with her own experience and is now a certified health coach. She talks about “living well with Gastroparesis”. Here is a short version of her interview.
Do we know how many people in America have the disease? The estimation is from 500,000 to 5 million.
Do we know who it affects most often? I had the disorder for 9 years. While the condition seems to primarily affect women in their childbearing years, there are many children, men, and older women who have gastroparesis.
What are the most common symptoms of gastroparesis? Fullness after eating small amounts, nausea, vomiting, reflux, regurgitation, stomach pain, bloating, and distention. It differs from person to person.
What would be good to add to their diet? Fiber 10 to 15 grams per day and Fat 20 50 grams per day. All divided into 5 to 6 meals evenly. I am a big fan of fresh juices and smoothies as part of a healthy GP-friendly diet.
What food to avoid? Raw vegetables and most raw fruits. Skins/peels, whole nuts, and seeds. Fatty meats; fried foods; high-fiber foods.
What should be a lifestyle? Physical activities with mild to moderate like walking. It helps to encourage gastric emptying. Take a walk after meals. This helps to reduce fullness and bloating symptoms. Importantly high-quality sleep for 7 to 9 hours per night. Stress management is equally important.
Gastroparesis – Podcast by Doctor Brian E Lacy
Listen to comprehensive podcast interview with Doctor Brian E. Lacy, MD, PhD, FACG detailing out all about Gastroparesis.
There are many types of treatments in practice today. It is all left to the physician, their diagnosis, and on the condition of your gastroparesis. Here is the list of gastroparesis treatments with briefing:
Erythromycin is an antibiotic, a gut motility stimulator and, an oral medicine. It stimulates and forces gastric contractions. As a result, it helps to empty gastric in gastroparesis patients. Dosage depending on the severity of the gastroparesis. Therefore, only doctors can prescribe erythromycin for gastroparesis
Metoclopramide or Reglan is available in the form of injections and tablets to treat gastroparesis disorder. According to PMC, this is the only US FDA approved medication to treat gastroparesis. Reglan promotes muscle contraction in the gastric. Thereby speeding the stomach emptying process pushing into the intestines. Reglan injection is primarily used in severe gastroparesis in diabetic patients.
Reglan also used in treating symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, feeling full long after a meal, and loss of appetite.
Botox for Gastroparesis
Botox is a Botulinum toxin available in injection to treat gastroparesis patients. It is injected into the pyloric muscles (sphincter). It relaxes the ring of muscles at the end of the gastric which allows food to pass through to the intestines. This has produced varying results in clinical trials. It has taken 1 to 6 to reduce symptoms in gastroparesis patients.
Azithromycin for the treatment of gastroparesis
According to a study in 2012 azithromycin is considered beneficial to gastric and small bowel dysmotility patients. The study says that azithromycin could be an alternative prokinetic agent in gastroparesis. Yet it requires more studies to make viable.
In gastric bypass surgery, a small pouch is made from the upper part of the stomach. Then the small pouch is directly attached to the lower part of the small intestine. This surgery is to limit the quantity of the food the patient eats. This is claimed effective in obese diabetic patients.
Pyloroplasty for gastroparesis is a surgical procedure to widen and relax the valve between the lower part of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. This valve is called the pylorus surrounded by the ring of muscles. The relaxed valve allows food to pass through and empty the stomach fast.
Laxative and Gastroparesis
At times constipation is closely associated with gastroparesis disorder. In this case use of an osmotic laxative has shown to improve dyspeptic symptoms and emptying gastric quicker. The use of laxatives should be in considerations to avoid other complications.
Gastric Electrical Stimulation (GES) for Gastroparesis
GES also called Gastric Pacemaker Therapy for gastroparesis. According to the study published in 2012 in PMC that Gastric Electrical Stimulation (GES) has been in practice for more than a decade. Yet the individual response to gastroparesis is difficult to predict. This method is mostly chosen by the physicians when severe gastroparesis failing to respond to medical therapy. The study further says that GES has considerable clinical support for the use.
The Gastric Pacemaker Therapy or GES for gastroparesis has shown in many patients:
- Improved nausea and vomiting associated with diabetic and idiopathic gastroparesis.
- Improved absorption of nutrition in patients who are malnourished because of gastroparesis.
- Improved glycemic index reading on diabetics with gastroparesis.
- Helped in improving quality of life.
Zofran is the drug that is most commonly prescribed as an antiemetic medication for gastroparesis. This drug specifically works well for nausea in gastroparesis patients. This medication also is often used for treating nausea and vomiting in relation to chemo or radiation in cancer patients.
Chinese Herbal Remedy for Gastroparesis
Traditional Chinese medicine has been effective for diabetic gastroparesis. A 2014 study was conducted involving about 45 diabetic gastroparesis patients who did not respond to the prescribed drugs. These patients were treated with a Chinese herbal remedy and were monitored for gastroparesis symptoms and their blood sugar levels for 12 weeks. Here are the results recorded:
- Prior to the Chinese herbal remedy, the Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) score was 4.21
- After one-week GCSI score reduced to 3.02
- After 12 weeks GCSI score reduced to 0.69 and
- At the end of the study, 25 of the 45 patients stopped vomiting.
- The average length of time eliminated was 37.9 days
- Feeling full and bloating effects were improved
However, more study is required in this area of treatment. The study on 45 people is a small group to have a broader conclusion on the effectiveness of Chinese herbal treatment.
Does gastroparesis qualify for disability?
This for the Americans and in relation to their work. It is depending on the condition of your gastroparesis. Suppose your gastroparesis symptoms are severe and you are not able to deliver substantial work for at least 12 months. The substantial work is considered to be above USD 15000 per annum by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Your request may be approved by the SSA if your medical condition meets the Listing of Impairments under digestive systems listing. Your weight loss also a measure to qualify for the gastroparesis disability. This is provided that you are under a prescribed treatment. In this case, you may be approved under the weight loss listing. The conditions are:
- your body mass index (BMI) falls below 17.50
- the BMI is documented on two separate occasions, and
- the documentation occurs at least 60 days apart during a 6-month consecutive period
Having said that you need to provide evidence that you are properly following the prescribed treatment. Otherwise, your eligibility for disability under the weight loss listing may not be approved.
When to See a Doctor?
It is advisable to see a doctor if you think you have the gastroparesis symptoms. Because it can lead to severe complications including:
- Repeated vomiting resulting in dehydration
- Acid reflux disease (GERD) where stomach acid flows out from your stomach into your gullet
- Your body is not getting enough nutrients
- Uneven blood sugar levels
Gastroparesis may lead to unwanted medical complications if not addressed on time. If you notice the symptoms check with your doctor. The home remedies help to reduce the symptoms. You may try to overcome the gastroparesis. The diet handout helps you to improve your condition and avoid reoccurrence.
Note: Source of Gastroparesis Diet Handout is from University Vergina Health System
Always prevention is better than cure so eat on time, drink lots of water and avoid junk foods as much as possible to have a healthy living and no gastroparesis ever.
Benefit from these home remedies for Gastroparesis and in case this condition prolongs do not delay seeing a doctor.