Today’s topic will be about a functional gut disorder called gastroparesis. In short, this is a condition in which the stomach is very slow to empty. Typically, strong muscular contractions push food through your digestive tract. In gastroparesis, the muscles in the wall of your stomach work poorly. This inhibits food from being emptied adequately. Gastroparesis can lead to nausea, vomiting, fluctuations in blood sugar and contribute to poor nutrition.
Typically, the test to determine if someone has delayed stomach emptying is called a gastric emptying test. For additional info on gastroparesis and testing, WebMD has a great overview here. I have worked with quite a few patients that have both IBS-C and gastroparesis. There is also an overlap of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIB0) in patients with a diagnosis of gastroparesis–so discuss this possible relationship with your gastroenterologist to see if you should have testing for SIBO.
One of my favorite educators on this topic is Crystal Saltrelli. Crystal is a Certified Health Coach, speaker, and author that helps people worldwide learn to live WELL with gastroparesis. She’s a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the author of Eating for Gastroparesis and Living (Well!) with Gastroparesis. Diagnosed with idiopathic gastroparesis herself at age 23, Crystal is living WELL in western NY with her husband and their two-year old daughter, Lilianna. I was fortunate to meet Crystal this summer as we both joined the Digestive Health Alliance to lobby congress for more funding for research for functional gut disorders such as IBS and gastroparesis.The DHA is the grassroots arm of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). IFFGD is a great resource for accurate digestive health information, support, and assistance about functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders. While writing this post and adding proper links to sites, I noticed a photo of the group I lobbied Congress with is on the the front page of DHA’s website. How cool is that?! IFFGD just published some great info on gastroparesis in their DigestiveHealth Matters newsletter. I joined IFFGD to receive their informative newsletter and learn about great breaking new research but also to support their efforts to help people with functional gut disorders.
Here are a few take-a-ways that I think people with functional gut disorders should know about gastroparesis:
- Symptoms of gastroparesis include: nausea, vomiting, stomach fullness after a normal size meal–shortly after eating.
- It’s important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
- Gastroparesis can occur in all ages.
- There are dietary interventions that can ease symptoms including minimizing (not eliminating) fat and fiber. And a low FODMAP diet helps symptoms for some people too!
Crystal recently published her latest book, Eating for Gastroparesis, which has great tips, recipes and lifestyle guidelines for those living with this gastroparesis. I, for one, will be trying Crystal’s recipe for a Pina Colada smoothie which looks super easy to make and yummy!! 🙂 And the GREAT news is the I have a copy of this book as a give-a-way! If you have gastroparesis and want more information…please leave a comment after this post and include your favorite sites to receive accurate info & recipes for gastroparesis AND you will be entered a chance to win this AWESOME book!
This is my second post on gastroparesis, so check for more info here including a great low FODMAP gastroparesis food checklist by health coach, Stephanie Torres.