Gastroparesis is a common problem among diabetics. In gastroparesis, the person has severe abdominal pain; leaving him or her with very little appetite.
What is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is the term used for sluggish emptying of food from the stomach into the small intestine. This condition is not caused by a physical blockage. Instead, the stomach muscles do not contract properly and that reduces the stomach’s ability to empty its contents. This causes fluid and food to linger far longer than normal in the stomach.
Gastroparesis can be an extremely troubling complication of diabetes. The chief culprit is damage to the nerves that control flow of food from the stomach into the intestine. Elevated blood glucose levels can contribute to the problem.
FACT: A normal stomach or the stomach of a non-diabetic stomach moves about half of an average meal into the small intestine within two hours after you eat. Within four hours, about 90% of the meal has been emptied into the small intestine. In a person with gastroparesis, food stays in the stomach much longer. As a result, Nausea (a feeling that urges one to vomit) and upper abdominal pain are common symptoms.
Further, Gastroparesis may make it difficult to keep a full meal down. People with serious cases may eat so little they become dangerously thin and malnourished.
FACT: Although diabetes is the leading cause of gastroparesis, other problems can interfere with normal stomach function and gastroparesis can be diagnosed to non-diabetics too.
Some people suffer from gastroparesis after they recover from a gastrointestinal viral infection. Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease also can affect how well the stomach does its job.
FACT: Other than diseases which make one to have Gastroparesis, a wide variety of medications can slow stomach evacuation as well. Such medicines which can lead to Gastroparesis include antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, calcium-channel blockers and opioid painkillers (codeine, oxycodone and others).
Below is what Harvard says regarding the treatment of gastroparesis.
The treatment of gastroparesis is still a complicated issue for doctors. There’s no wonder drug, and surgery is not an answer. But by making some changes to one’s diet and medication, a patient can always decrease the severity and occurrence of the symptoms.
Dietary changes include:
1) Limiting OR even avoiding fatty and fiber-rich foods that are known to linger in the stomach.
2) Eating frequent small meals rather than three large ones.
3) If diabetes is the presumed cause, then optimal blood sugar level in blood should be maintained.
Many medications have been used to try to improve gastric emptying. Ask your doctor for advice.
There is no fast fix for a sluggish stomach. But with careful attention to detail, and acting on doctor’s advice might be able to get some relief from gastroparesis.
NOTE: The article is for information purposes only. Consult a qualified doctor, before acting on any information shared in the article.
Eating for Gastroparesis: Guidelines, Tips & Recipes is a practical, easy-to-understand resource for managing gastroparesis symptoms via dietary modifications.
Written by Gastroparesis Patient-Expert and Certified Health & Nutrition Counselor, Crystal Saltrelli, this indispensable guide answers the most frequently asked questions about eating for gastroparesis, addresses common misconceptions, offers tips for symptom management and provides 50 gastroparesis-friendly recipes.
Eating for Gastroparesis: Guidelines, Tips & Recipes includes:
– The six guidelines of a GP-friendly diet
– A detailed list of GP-friendly foods
– Tips for enhancing nutrition
– Tips for minimizing symptoms
– Answers to common questions
– More than 50 safe and simple recipes — including soups, smoothies, breakfasts, desserts, and family-friendly dishes
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