My dietary needs have shifted again. This time how I’m eating is just as important as what I’m eating.
Let me explain.
Earlier this year I was diagnosed with mild gastroparesis. The muscles of my stomach work a little slower than normal causing a delay in sending food into my small intestines.
For me, this condition leads to daily, ongoing nausea and abdominal discomfort.
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My gastroenterologist suggested making some changes to how and what I eat. After playing around with these adjustments for the past few months, I’m sharing the eating habits that best help me manage my mild gastroparesis. I hope they can help others dealing with this condition.
If you also have gastroparesis, it’s best to consult with your doctor before making any changes to how you eat.
I eat more frequently.
My new eating pattern is:
- Late morning snack
- Afternoon snack
- Evening snack
I try to eat six times per day to avoid having big, heavy meals that get stuck in my stomach. This shift has lessened my nausea significantly.
I eat smaller portions.
Although I’m eating six times per day, the amount of food on my plate has shrunk. Eating small meals means my stomach has less to process and push through my system each time I eat.
I eat lots of liquids.
Before my diagnosis, I noticed that I felt best when I had smoothies, creamy or broth soups, fresh juices or didn’t eat at all. My doctor said having liquid meals or snacks is still a good idea because they are easier to digest.
I eat cooked vegetables.
As a vegetarian, I love a colorful salad or fresh veggie and dip tray. Although I still enjoy those things, they are in moderation. Instead I’m focusing more on cooked vegetables since they are already partially broken down and easier to digest. Bring on the grilled asparagus, mashed cauliflower and sauteed zucchini!
I do yoga.
With the help of my therapeutic yoga instructor, I’ve learned a few new yoga positions that use props to stimulate digestion by gently massaging the abdomen. I’ve been using these techniques to encourage food to move along in my delayed system.
I fast occasionally.
With the approval of my doctor, I will do short liquid fasts (12 hours) to give my digestive system a little break since it has to work extra hard to move food around. I actually feel best during these times because there’s no nausea or bowling-ball-in-the-gut feeling that’s common with gastroparesis.
Do you want to learn more about gastroparesis from a patient’s perspective? I’m thinking about writing about the tests I went through that lead to my diagnosis. Are you interested in learning about a small bowel follow-through or gastric emptying study?
Message me or comment below your thoughts and I’ll add these topics to my writing plans if there’s interest.
Until next time,
PS: Would you like me to write on a health and wellness topic for your newspaper, magazine or business? I partner with several marketing agencies and platforms including Skyword, Contently and ClearVoice. Request me as a writer for your publication or content marketing campaign. ~ Angela Tague