How to Treat Gastroparesis Naturally

Three Methods:Changing Your DietAltering Your Eating HabitsUnderstanding Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a chronic digestive tract disorder where your stomach muscle becomes weak, due to neuropathy to the autonomic nerves that control stomachs digestive movements. These nerves are inked to the brain and sense when the stomach is full and signals your stomach digestive muscles to contract. When enough nerve cells are damaged, the signals are more weak, which causes your digestion rate to slow down. While there is no cure for gastroparesis, there are natural ways that you can treat the symptoms that are created by the condition. One key way is to change your diet.

Method 1
Changing Your Diet

  1. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 1
    1
    Visit a doctor or dietitian. He or she can help design a diet that will work for you. It's important to have multiple options that sound good to you. Don't just cut out foods -- find new foods that will help you deal with the disease. Keep in mind that changing your diet is an ongoing project, and you might need to meet with your doctor or dietitian multiple times to get it right.
  2. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 2
    2
    Choose low-fat foods. This is because fats reduce the rate at which foods are digested. Fatty foods include many meats, cheeses, crackers and chips, pastries, and creamy sauces. Instead, stick to low-fat options like: [1]
    • Cottage cheese
    • Nonfat yogurt
    • Egg whites
    • Lean meats (poultry, lean cuts like rounds and loins)
    • Fresh fruits and vegetables that can be pureed.
  3. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 3
    3
    Follow a low fiber diet. Fiber usually contains oligosaccharides which are elements of food that are generally hard for your stomach to digest. This is because your stomach may not have the enzyme that digests these compounds so the food remains intact in your large intestine and rectum. Low fiber foods include:[2]
    • Ground meat
    • Tofu
    • Fish
    • Eggs
    • Milk
    • White bread
    • White rice
    • Canned vegetables
  4. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 4
    4
    Eat pureed foods to speed digestion. Pureed foods are much easier for your stomach to digest than whole, chunky foods. Always check the pureed foods for large lumps of food that might be hard for your stomach to break down. Make smoothies with fresh fruits and vegetables. [3]
  5. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 5
    5
    Consume plenty of liquids. Because your stomach has a hard time digesting food, you might find it easier to drink calorie-rich liquids. These drinks can include evaporated milk and protein shakes, both of which can replenish your stores of protein. You also might want to consider drinking clear soups and broth, which can replenish electrolytes and provide nutrients, and electrolyte rich drinks (like sports drinks or Pedialyte).
  6. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 6
    6
    Make a homemade ginger tea. Ginger has properties that aid digestion. It contains gingerol and shogaol, two properties that are believed to increase gastric juices and secretions that are necessary for digestion. Try to drink one cup of ginger tea each day. To make ginger tea:
    • Slice up a three ounce piece of ginger.
    • Boil 3 cups of water.
    • Mix 3 ounces of ginger into the boiling water and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Allow it to cool down a little and drink.
  7. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 7
    7
    Drink peppermint tea. Peppermint contains two active ingredients, menthol and menthone, that have been known to help the stomach muscle relax. They can also cause the stomach to increase more bile, which helps to digest fat. To make peppermint tea:
    • Gather some peppermint leaves and tear them apart so that menthol and other essential components are produced.
    • Boil 2 tablespoons of peppermint leaves in 3 cups of water.
    • Steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Allow to cool down and drink.
  8. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 8
    8
    Avoid carbonated beverages. Even though these are liquids, they do not add nutrients to your diet. It does not hydrate you but at the same time fills you up -- a bad combination for gastroparesis.[4]

Method 2
Altering Your Eating Habits

  1. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 9
    1
    Chew your food properly. In order to help your stomach digest the food you eat, try to chew your food as thoroughly as possible before swallowing. Softer foods are easier to digest. Try to eat and chew at a slow pace to help your stomach keep up its strength while you eat.While there is no magic number for how long you should chew food for, you should try to chew your food until it is almost completely broken down before swallowing.[5]
  2. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 10
    2
    Eat small, frequent meals. Six small, frequent meals can be easier on your stomach than three large meals a day. When you eat smaller meals, your stomach produces less hydrochloric acid, which means that it has to exert less energy.[6]
  3. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 11
    3
    Choose foods that are soft and easy to digest. Since gastroparesis impairs the stomach’s digestive function, it is important to consider foods that are easily digested.Some foods are more simple than others, so they are able to be broken down more quickly and efficiently. Easy-to-digest foods include:
    • White bread
    • Soup
    • Watermelon
    • Peaches
    • Pears
    • Fruit juices
    • Potatoes
    • Apples without skin
    • Mushrooms
    • Lettuce
    • Yogurt
  4. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 12
    4
    Avoid drinking water during meals. Drinking water while you eat your meals will dilute the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which will contribute to delayed gastric emptying. Between meals, drink water when you a thirsty to maintain proper hydration.[7]
  5. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 13
    5
    Avoid lying down right after eating. When you lie down right after eating, your stomach has a harder time digesting the food that you have just put into it. When possible, try to eat at least two or three hours before getting into bed for the night or taking a nap.
  6. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 14
    6
    Exercise after eating. After you eat, go for a walk. Exercise helps to boost metabolism, which aids your stomach in digesting food. Gently walking can help your stomach process your meal more quickly than if you just sit quietly after a meal.[8]

Method 3
Understanding Gastroparesis

  1. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 15
    1
    Recognize the symptoms of gastroparesis. You might not be certain if you are experiencing gastroparesis These symptoms include:[9]
    • Fullness: You may feel full after eating a small amount of food. This happens because your stomach takes longer to process the food, which keeps your abdomen feeling full.
    • Gaseous discomfort: As mentioned above, gastroparesis causes food to remain in the abdomen instead of going into your intestines. This delay can cause a buildup of gas.
    • Nausea and vomiting: You may feel nauseous, or even vomit, after eating. This nausea is caused by the buildup of food and secretions in your abdomen.
    • Lack of appetite: When you constantly feel full after small amounts of food, you are less likely to feel hungry during normal meal times.
    • Weight loss: When you feel full all the time, you are less likely to eat often, which can lead to weight loss.
    • Heartburn: When your abdomen is full of food build up, your stomach might send food back up your esophagus; this is known as regurgitation. The food is generally mixed with acidic gastric juices that can cause a burning sensation known as heartburn.
    • Acid reflux: the lining on your esophagus and throat are irritated and erode when digestive acid and gases back up to the esophagus.
  2. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 16
    2
    Understand the risk factors for gastroparesis. There are some people who are more predisposed to developing this condition than others. These people include[10]:
    • Diabetics.
    • People who have had surgery that involved the abdomen.
    • People taking certain medications that may slow down the digestive process.
    • People experiencing an infection that involves part of the digestive process.
  3. Image titled Treat Gastroparesis Naturally Step 17
    3
    Be aware that smoking and drinking alcohol can make the condition worse. While smoking and drinking alcohol are both bad for your general health, they are particularly bad to take part in if you have gastroparesis. Both of these substances can increase heartburn and reduce your overall health.

Tips

  • It is advisable to avoid cooking foods that have a strong smell. This is because this is likely to cause nausea and worsen the condition.
  • It is advisable to avoid eating foods that have spices because this will increase heartburn and worsen the condition.
  • Stress is linked to many symptoms of gastroparesis.
  • Eat only freshly cooked foods and heat up very well every food to avoid food infections that can cause stomach-flu-like problems.

Warnings

  • White rice, bread, creams and starchy foods can be easier to digest but may bring other problems if they are consumed in excess.
  • Eating more bread and pasta because it is easier to chew and swallow does not mean it is easier to digest. It may take more time to be digested by your digestive enzymes.
  • If you are diabetic: delayed emptying of foods in your stomach can cause more serious problems and be more difficult to control blood glucose levels.

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Health Care and Medical Information