Managing Nutrition and Stomach Problems Associated with Gastroparesis

Eating well and exercising are necessary steps for a healthy lifestyle, but certain conditions that cause nutrition and stomach problems may still arise without any warning.  Although an estimated 5 million Americans suffer from Gastroparesis, most people are not familiar with this digestive disorder.

Understanding Gastroparesis

Caused by a damaged nerve in your digestive system, Gastroparesis prevents your stomach and intestines from functioning properly.

If the digestive system does not function, food will not be able to move through the digestive process properly, reducing your stomach’s ability to empty itself and absorb nutrients.

Gastroparesis may cause the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting food the body can’t digest
  • Constant full feeling/no appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss

The nutrition and stomach problems can be dangerous to your physical and emotional health, but patients with Gastroparesis experience high levels of discomfort, as well. If you are experiencing one or more of the above signs, it is imperative that you visit a gastroenterologist.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are several diagnostic studies that your gastroenterologist can order to evaluate Gastroparesis.

Unfortunately, Gastroparesis is a chronic disorder that does not have any known cures. However, you can manage the symptoms of this disorder with the help of your doctor. Your doctor will most likely prescribe anti-nausea medications, which will decrease discomfort and increase your appetite to ensure your body receives necessary nutrients. The doctor may also prescribe medications that cause the stomach to contract. These contractions will help move food through your digestive system.

Changing your diet can also help manage the symptoms of Gastroparesis. Consider eating smaller meals more frequently, since this will make your stomach not feel as full during the day. Eating 4 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day will reduce discomfort while improving nutrient absorption.

You should also reduce your consumption of foods that are high in fat and high in fiber. Eating low-fat foods will help improve digestion. Also, avoid foods that are rich in fiber as they may cause blockage in the stomach. To prevent this, decrease your intake of nuts, seeds, apples, figs, berries, Brussels sprouts, legumes, beans, and other foods that are high in fiber.

Living with Gastroparesis can be uncomfortable, but seeking medical attention can help. To learn more about problems associated with your digestive system, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants today.

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