Scientists are studying how a plant-based diet affects gastroparesis, an underdiagnosed condition in which emptying of the stomach is delayed. Symptoms include bloating, nausea, feeling abnormally full after eating, and in severe cases, vomiting and weight loss.
The most common treatment for severe gastroparesis is administering food through a feeding tube using a liquid formula high in sugar and processed nutrients. Although patients are not consuming actual food, they can still experience symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
The plant-based pilot study, currently underway, includes a plant-based formula lower in sugar and processed components. Researchers will look at how going plant-based affects microbial and inflammatory markers, with the hope that patients will experience less symptoms. Stanford University
Takeaway: While some severe cases of gastroparesis require more aggressive treatments as described above, there are lots of lifestyle changes that can help treat gastroparesis-related symptoms. These modifications include:
- Shift most of your calorie intake to the first half of your day: breakfast like a king/queen, lunch like a prince/princess, and dinner like a pauper – and nothing after 9pm
- Split your fat and fiber intake up into small servings
- Avoid carbonated beverages
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Travel with low-fat, healthy snacks to avoid getting hungry and overeating
- Choose lunch for dining out instead of dinner
- Move around as much as you can, especially after eating, and try eating your last meal 4 hours before going to bed
- Drink your water in between meals instead of during meals, and be sure to sip your beverages, not gulp them
- Chew your food well
- Wait a few hours after eating to exercise in order to give your stomach time to empty
- Wear clothes that are not tight around your waist and abdomen