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I was recently diagnosed with Gastroparesis. Can anyone enlighten me about diet?
@I have been diagnosed with slow gastric emptyiing at a moderate level.The diet is extremely restrictive.I also have had constipation issues for years.This has been worse since having a small bowel obstruction 18 months ago.I have added fluids but am not supposed to eat more than 10 grams of fiber a day and no fresh fruits or vegetables, beans and onlyfew cooked vegetables are allowed.Also no fiber supplements.
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Slow stomach emptying and slow bowels are very frustrating and tend to dominate our every day decisions, as you clearly know. My one suggestion for you, as I continue to play the daily balancing game, is a gentle but brisk walk daily for about 20 minutes. Schedule it so you have already consumed a good portion of your daily food, so the gentle movement of your body can have an opportunity to mobilize the stomach and the bowels indirectly. Another technique I use, is I lay flat on my back stretched out and gently massage the belly area. I can pretty much feel where the stool gets hung up, as it masses in a firm area. The massage is very gentle and sometimes just a little jiggle will produce that gurgle I am looking for. Continual liquids is imperative. A bottle of water with a bit of lemon is nice to sip on so I can get a continual stimulation for my gastric juices, which facilitates both the stomach juices and on to the bowel motility. Obstructions are not fun and I have had my fill. When An obstruction is threatening, I keep bone broth in my cupboard so I can switch to total liquids until I get the gurgling I am looking for. The liquids keep the gastric juices going. If you totally obstruct though, this won't work and you will need intervention. Good luck with this, and keep those steady liquids going. While we don't have control over everything, we do have control over behavioral alterations in our day to day. That's the best we can do.
I appreciate your comment, "While we don't have control over everything, we do have control over behavioral alterations in our day to day. That's the best we can do." Good thing to remember!
If I may ask, why do specifically mention "bone broth"?
Good morning Teresa. I use bone broth because it's a clear liquid that is high in protein, low in sugar, and bland. When I am nauseated, the broth is more tolerable. You can boil your own, or buy it pre made. Pre made is nice, because when I don't feel well I don't want to try to boil down a chicken. Sugar levels are important to consider for many people with varying issues causing GI dysfunction, from bowel flora to diabetes concerns. Thus, bone broth becomes a good choice, vs pop or even Gatorade, to maintain electrolytes and stimulate the bowel motility without loading. However, since each person is very different, the choices need to be made according to that individual's specifics. Hope this helps.
Your response was so very helpful. I’ve been experimenting and trying to manage this for five years with varying success. I’ll try increasing my liquids. That makes so much sense. Thank you and keep posting other suggestions
Please add more strategies that you’ve learned. You seem to have a better handle on this than my nutritionist
@techmom as upartist mentioned it is a balancing act. It can change with time and your age. It is different for each perosn.. no one-size fits all diet or regiment. Many have other issues besides the gastroparesis. I have several and according to dietitians I need a high fiber, low fiber, low fat, low acid, high calorie easily swallowed digestible diet. How does one balance that out!!!
Balancing fiber… ugh!! I cannot eat raw vegestibles and fruits. They just sit in my stomach. If I eat too much fat then there is diarrhea to deal with. Fat is needed in the diet to help move food along. I do not tolerate milk, but can tolerate cheese. Yeah! high calorie, but can actually constipate me. I eat more vegetables than meat. I just have to cook them Southern Style… cook to beyond done. It is summer squash season here. I can eat them if I deseed them which is easily done by cutting the squash in half lenghtwise and scooping the seeds out with a spoon. I eat them stewed and also roasted. I like to chop the squash and some sweet potatoes into about 1-2 inch cubes; add baby or sliced carrots to them, and a little oil; toss together and place single layer on baking sheet and roast in the oven. My husband cooks now so I have forgetten the time.. maybe 20 minutes or so depending on cut size at 425° I do not preheat oven, but use speed or convection setting. If oven does not have just give veggies a stir midway and maybe extra time. If you can tolerate white potatoes, broccoli, and onions they can be added to the veggie mix. I can handle sweet potatoes, but white potatoes are too dry. I can tolerate over cooked brussel sprouts, but not cabbage.. strange isn't it.
Each of us is unique and it takes much trial and error to figure out what works foodwise. Drinking room temperature drinks or just out of the fridge drinks is better for digestion than really cold drinks. (Warm or hot tea.. very evil when you live in the land of iced sweet tea; I prefer coffee anyway, but limit it.) Drink a good cup of water a bit before eating 15-30 minutes maybe, I never timed it. Do not drink during your meal unless you need it to help swallow. I drink warm coffee after I eat or drink another glass of water.
Exercise is very important. I do a short walk around my yard after I eat in the morning. I eat several times a day because my stomach cannot hold much. I do short walks around my yard after I eat the rest of the day too. I eat the most at midday and try to get a 20-30 minute walk after that meal. If weather does not permit I just walk up and down our hallway.. could go to the mall. Sometimes if food feels like it is just sitting my my stomach I gently massage my stomach as I walk. If my stomach actually hurts after eating I do the walk and massage and if not better I use a heating pad and more massage. I usually have to eat lighter the next day… mostly liquids.
As the body ages things may have to be adjusted.
Hi Tech Mom. I can post a few more strategies, but it is important to know that I am not a Nutritionist. I am just "into" nutrition. With that said, another strategy I use to get those nutrients ingested effectively, is building smoothies. It is a liquid route to get the raw veggies, proteins, and fresh fruits. You can do it through blended soups as well. The liquid and puréed forms of the foods pass through my stomach with less difficulty. Then they are able to be digested in the bowel more effectively. The smoothies (hot and cold) can be made to taste quite nice. I use them regularly when coming off an obstruction (especially the hot form) in order to achieve the nutrition I need when I am limited to only "cooked and soft". I use the cold form as a supplement to sneak in the nutrients in general. I also take a b-complex vitamin in powder capsules ( easier to move through the stomach). All my vitamins are chosen with the slow stomach in mind. I cannot afford to have those unpleasant things come back up into my esaphagus and mouth. Therefore I choose as many liquid versions, and buffered versions as possible. There is a lot going on in various research areas on FODMAP and bowel flora. It's good stuff and relevant to the variants of so many people's issues. The world of gastroenterology is exploding with new information. I hope this helps. We must try to live mindfully amid all the frustrations and explorations.
HlCan you tell me how you handle gastroparesis through diet? Do you concentrate on liquid diets? Anything else? Have you tried CBD oil?Thanks. Danyl
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve been able to share. I used to be a vegan, but after Scleroderma blew out my GI tract, I’m now only eating fish, eggs and dairy. (Same restrictions – less than 10g fiber per day, nothing raw, no gluten, about 1500 calories per day) I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring vegetables back into my diet and will definitely try your suggestions. I’ve always known that exercise will help, but haven’t realized how important it is, so I now will make it mandatory! Thank you so much for your help. Please pass along anything else you think of, I am most appreciative.
Good morning techmom. I was wondering how you were doing. I hope you are able to achieve a better quality of life by focusing on some new things to "try" while staying within the parameters of your dietary restrictions and safe movement. Have you looked at adding Tai Chi to your daily routine? It helps the individual move through patterns of weight shifting, head positions, and gentle strengthening for stability. It also facilitates "Mindfullness", which decreases stress levels in our bodies. Lower stress levels help bowel motility, then on to better absorption of those nutrients we are trying to acquire. It also helps with pain control and flexibility of the joints in a gentle way. I hope you are feeling well today!
Thanks for following up with me. My bloating is much, much better. I’ve added a regular walk every day and am tweaking my diet, but have run into a problem with my meds that has thrown a monkey wrench into the mix. I ran out of Xifaxin and I think it’s the cause of a complete meltdown with my bowel movements. However, once I get my prescription refilled I will continue with your tips. I did try Tai Chi, but I am unfortunately too uncoordinated! But will try to find something along those lines that I can handle. I appreciate your help.
Hi tech mom:
I too tried tai chi with poor success; coordination and difficulty with the movement in relationship to a healing back injury was my downfall. I do my best in swimming regularly and that is very helpful. Qigong has ben recommended and there are underwater exercises that are possible and powerful. Qigong (and I am not an expert) has multiple categories and there are some that are much less finite in movement yet are powerful work for the mind / body.
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