At-Home Treatment Options for Gastroparesis
What is gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis, also known as gastric stasis or delayed gastric emptying, is a condition in which the stomach takes longer than normal to empty its contents. Under normal circumstances, strong muscle contractions move food through the digestive tract. With gastroparesis, damaged nerves and muscles cause these contractions to slow and weaken. Large masses of food can form in the stomach, which can cause digestive symptoms and even prevent food from entering the small intestine.
At-home treatments for gastroparesis
At-home treatments for gastroparesis involve dietary/lifestyle changes and home remedies for nausea or abdominal pain. These changes and remedies can generally be implemented in conjunction with conventional and alternative/complementary treatments for gastroparesis.
Dietary and lifestyle changes
Dietary and lifestyle changes that can help with gastroparesis include the following:
- Limiting or avoiding fatty or high-fiber foods (Liquids, soft foods, and low-fiber foods are emptied from the stomach more easily.)
- Eating cooked fruits and vegetables rather than raw fruits and vegetables
- Grinding meat and poultry before eating to make it easier to digest
- Avoiding trigger foods, such as dairy or spicy foods
- Eating frequent, small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals
- Chewing solid food thoroughly before swallowing to reduce the amount of work the stomach has to do
- Replacing solid foods with puréed foods or high-calories liquids if necessary
- Drinking at least eight ounces of liquid with each meal
- Avoiding lying down for at least two hours after eating (Inactivity can slow gastric emptying.)
- Going for a walk after eating
- Chewing gum for up to an hour after eating (Chewing causes the body to release saliva which contains digestive enzymes that stimulate muscular activity in the stomach.)
- Quitting the habit of smoking cigarettes
- Limiting or avoiding alcohol and carbonated beverages
Home remedies for nausea or abdominal pain
In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes, certain home remedies can help with the nausea or abdominal pain that accompany gastroparesis. One of the most common home remedies for nausea is ginger. Eating a small piece of fresh ginger or drinking a cup of ginger tea may help relieve symptoms. Drinking peppermint or chamomile tea may also be beneficial.
Placing a heating pad on the abdomen or taking a warm bath may also help reduce the pain associated with gastroparesis.