How can my eating habits help control gastroparesis symptoms?

Dr. Robynne K. Chutkan, MD

Changing your eating habits can help control gastroparesis. Your doctor or dietician may prescribe six small meals daily instead of three large ones and recommend that you avoid late-night eating. With less food entering the stomach each time you eat, the symptoms are often improved. Avoiding fatty foods and high-fiber foods that are more difficult to digest will also improve symptoms.

Most people can treat gastroparesis with dietary therapy. There are certain foods that can really slow down the emptying of the stomach like caffeinated beverages and fatty foods. Also, foods high in fiber like fruits and vegetables already take a long time to empty from your stomach. This can be confusing. We generally perceive high fiber foods and fresh fruits and vegetables as healthy. These foods can actually worsen symptoms in gastroparesis patients. We recommend eating smaller meals that consist of lean meats and low-fiber starches. We treat more severe cases with liquids first since liquids empty pretty well on their own, then move on to soft foods, followed by solid foods.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.