Gastroparesis also called delayed stomach emptying is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. It occurs when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work properly. In such cases food moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. Some of the symptoms of gastroparesis include heartburn, vomiting of undigested food (many hours after their last meal), nausea, abdominal bloating, early feeling of fullness when eating, weight loss, high blood glucose levels, gastroesophageal reflux and lack of appetite. Gastroparesis may be associated with paralysis of other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Other terms used for this condition include gastric stasis, gastropathy, slow stomach, sluggish stomach. Below you will find some of the foods you can eat with gastroparesis. Always consult your health care provider first.
Causes of gastroparesis:
Some of the causes of gastroparesis include:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Viral infections
- Surgery on the stomach or vagus nerve
- Anorexia nervosa
- Medications such as anticholinergics and narcotics. These drugs that slow contractions in the intestine.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Nervous system diseases such as abdominal migraine and Parkinson's disease
List of foods you can eat with gastroparesis:
1. Vegetables: Some of the vegetables you can eat with gastroparesis include carrots, mushrooms, acorn squash, potatoes (no skin), spinach, beets, tomatoes (no skin), tomato puree, summer squash, strained tomato sauce. Always remove the skin and cook the vegetables well.
2. Fruits and juices: Apple juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, grape juice, prune juice, strained baby fruits, canned fruits without skins such as applesauce, peaches and pears is safe for gastroparesis. Avoid raw, fresh skin on produce such as berries, oranges, plums and skin on apples.
3. Ginger: Ginger aids digestion and relieves nausea and vomiting. You can try drinking a cup of ginger tea about 30 minutes before meals to stimulate gastric juices or after meals to aid digestion. You can use ginger in soups, entrees, baking and marinades. Also you can make ginger syrup at home. It is a mixture of ginger extract and honey or hot water. Ginger is a great home remedy for gastroparesis and has a unique power of healing due to the high contents of volatile oils.
4. Grains: Another good food to eat with gastroparesis is low fiber foods. Low fiber foods and grains is best for gastroparesis. Some of the low fiber grains including white bread, white rice, pasta such as couscous, plain grits, plain oats, plain bagels, white grain waffles, plain roll, breadsicks, toast, cream of rice and cream of wheat.
5. Proteins: Red meat is hard to digest for people with gastroparesis. Instead, you can focus on lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey, non breaded fish like scallops, tuna, oysters, eggs whites, tofu and dairy products. These are rich in protein that digest well with gastroparesis. Consume hot cereals with skim milk, soy or rice milk and liquid nutritional supplements.
Some of the fat free protein sources include egg beaters, egg whites, powdered egg whites, fat free milk, non fat dry milk powder, non fat cottage cheese, non fat yogurt, non fat cottage cheese, evaporated skim milk, fat free luncheon meat, high protein egg whites and high protein broth.
6. Soups: You can make soups with fat freebroth, skim milk, fat free bouillon containing pasta or nooddles. Also you can add ground chicken meat, ground turkey meat, tomato puree and finely chopped and cooked vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms acorn squash.
7.Desserts: Custards and puddings made with skim milk, sherbet, low fat yogurt, vanilla wafers, marshmallows, popsicles, caramels and jelly. you can make shakes with liquid nutritional supplements such as nutra shake, ensure, boost, honey, non fat ice cream (no nuts), syrups, banana and vanilla carnation instant breakfast.
8. Others: Peanut butter 2 tbsp per day, ginger snaps, graham crackers, gatorade, ginger ale, crackers, saltines and pretzels.
It is best to avoid dried fruits, oranges, broccoli, berries, caffeine, popcorn, nuts, seeds and oatmeal. These foods are high in fiber and difficult to digest.
Basic dietary guidelines for gastroparesis:
1.Eat 6 small meals instead of 3 big meals. It helps your stomach from getting full and reduce gastric pressure.
2. Avoid high fiber foods because the indigestible portion remain in the stomach for much longer periods and possibly form bezoars or hard calcifications of food that causes severe vomiting and nausea.Foods associated with bezoar formation include berries, apples, brussel sprouts, oranges, coconuts, corn, figs, green beans, legumes, potato peels, sauerkraut and tomato skins.
3. Limit caffeine and alcohol as they trigger symptoms of gastroparesis.
4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
ruthane litten on October 26, 2020:
endo doc says fresh raw fruit and veggie whole grains and gastro doctor says not to eat any those foods... I am going nuts idk what to eat because what ever I eat affects either the diabetes or Gastroparesis
Muhammad Kafeel from pakistan on May 30, 2020:
i cannot digest fats easily,also facing difficulty of editing vegetable
Dylsaster on October 22, 2019:
Whenever I cant digest things it always gives me bad acid flare ups and strangely one thing that does that is apple sauce
Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on August 22, 2019:
I was diagnosed with gastroparesis and am presently on a liquid di8et trying to get it under control. Like others who have written comments here I have suffered for some time with the symptoms. It is only lately that I was finally told what it is. I will absolutely follow your suggestions. Thank you for writing this hub.
Helen on June 24, 2019:
I was diagnosed three months ago but have had symptoms for years. The first thing the Dr. gave me was antibiotics. WHY??
Lynn on February 18, 2019:
I was diagnosed with GP about a month plus ago. I have had episodes of all the things that point to GP for about 6 years and no one doctor could tell me what was going on. Once diagnosed I started to read many of the blogs sites for GP. I found it was just too upsetting for me and decided to try my own way. I know some are so severe with this condition and I thought, OMG, what is next for me. I did find a way of eating. I eat and drink mainly soft foods..staying away from fiber, sugar (for the most part) and high fats. I've found that soups with broth are safe for me. Chicken noodle soup (healthy request) from chunky soups by Campbells works for me. It's been my life saver. I at first I couldn't get much down and I didn't eat the noodles, so I would eat what I could and save for later. I can now eat the noodles and chew them like crazy before swallowing. I eat cream of rice and wheat. I tied eggs..NOPE, can't do those, but am encouraged to try Egg beaters. Soda crackers with a little bit of almond butter and a dab of no fruit spreadable jam seems okay but just a couple. Wow, what a treat that is for me. I do make smoothies..they have been a life saver for me. I do not use fruits with seeds or skins..only bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes (cooked without peelings and soft)..almond milk or no fat milk and even at times a bit of juice. I also use a protein powder that is a Collagen Peptide and Bone broth. Both give you plenty of protein, if tolerated. I don't use what is recommended on the container, ever. I just about a tablespoon or so in each smoothie. I eat various veggies in my smoothies. Its been a journey, yet I have more good days now than bad. I still try some things to see if I am able to eat more. Trial and error for all of us. It scares you to try something and I get that. I am grateful for each day..I think of all of us who suffer with this horrible condition, yet am encouraged to live my life to the fullest one day at a time. A month ago I couldn't say that. My heart goes out to all...God Bless
Yolanda on February 07, 2019:
It’s heartbre reading all the different posts from people suffering from GP. I can definitely relate to each one. I was misdiagnosed for years. In 2012 I had an upper endoscopy done and was told I have Gastritis and Gastroperesis...yes both....and it was awful. Couldn’t even drink water at times let alone food. Had been admitted in the hospital over 20 times from 2012-2017. After finally fighting for all the years to be seen by a GI Dr. at John Hopkins I finally got an appt. September 2017 I went to see Dr. Yarandi and she has been an absolute blessing. I discussed different alternatives with which included the Gastric Bypass which she was against but stated if everything else didn’t work she would consider it. I have to admit after suffering for years and seeing over 5 GI Doctors I was a little hesitant. Praise God for Dr. Yarandi. She stated me on Remeron 15mg. Surprisingly Remeron is an Anti-Depressant. I noticed a slight difference in the first week so Dr. Yarandi decided to increase the dosage to 30 mg. Ok.....yes....improvement again from previous dosage. After 2 weeks on the Remeron 30mg I could EAT....YES...EAT..So she said let’s try 45 mg and see if this does it and POW....THAT WAS IT. I celebrated my 1 YR ANNIVERSARY OF BEING HOSPITAL FREE. My last hospital visit was OCTOBER 2017. I can eat just about everything I could before but I watch my diet. I make sure not to eat large meals and stay away from fried foods. Also remember to NEVER eat late at night......cause you will pay for it in the morning.
Joslyn on December 15, 2018:
What about eating hard cereal and milk? Is that ok with gastroparesis?
Paula on October 06, 2018:
I got diagnosed this week and I had trouble with what to eat and this has helped a lot.
Dana on September 20, 2018:
I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I got diagnosed in January so I’m a newbie.
Outshine makes a really great yogurt bar that I think is ok. I really
I’ve them for a snack.
I would love to know ...
*what are you eating? Meal ideas.
*The amount of food people are eating for meals and
*How often are you eating ?
I hate that feeling that you have eaten thanksgiving dinner and completely overdone it. Which I haven’t done for years
Dee K on July 24, 2018:
My husband has gastroperisis and he is having a problem with Excess gas. Was wondering if this is a common problem with gastroperisis.
Cassandra A on May 09, 2018:
I just had an endoscopy and found out that my food is just sitting in my stomach. The Dr told me what the problem is but did not give me a solution, so I’m stuck and I don’t know what to do next.
adriana on March 25, 2018:
I also have gastroperisis
And understand your husband pain and your.
My Dr, prescribed Reglan 10mg
It took the pain in my right side away
You have to understand that with this dieses it fills better when ones stomach is empty.
And the fear of eating is always there
I went from 148 to 90pound in 3month
Reglan really helps.
Jeanieb on December 31, 2017:
My husband has pretty severe GP and he has lost so much weight. He is really struggling and he gets really depressed. I feel so bad for him. I have major heart disease, so food is a really hard thing to try and do for both of us. I feel guilty sometimes, because he can’t eat. He also has heart disease, and many other medical issues. I feel so defeated.
Lilflower on August 14, 2017:
Thank you for this GP information, I will be asking questions with Doctor visit Friday. Very helpful with good information to better health.
Swan2017 on May 28, 2017:
I was diagnosed with gastroparesis two weeks ago. I am struggling with the emotional side of this not being able to eat with my family and don't know how I will be able to go to social gatherings for work. I was told by my doctor I could only have two bites of food every two hours 8 to 10 times a day. I have found a savior for protein 1 tablespoon equals 30 grams it mixes easily and it is unflavored and you can put it anything. You can get it at GNC it is called NextGen. The associate at the store said cancer patients, heart patients, and gastric sleeve patients use. Hopefully, this was helpful.
Margaret on March 23, 2017:
I nearly died from the gastroparesis secondary to my hereditary neuralgic amatrophy as a child because they kept thinking I had anorexia. Going to a psychologist does not help nerve damage, that is for sure. I live on enteral formula.
Sharon on February 13, 2017:
I could use a meal plan for my gastropresis
Lauren on January 05, 2017:
I have GP and I couldn't eat or barely drink anything... in a few weeks it will be a year since I had the gastric stimulator implanted in my stomach and I can honestly say I feel back to my old self. I can't eat everything like before but I have gained a pretty significant amount of wait back (and can even stand to lose some). I understand the pain and the cravings of wanting to eat but wanted to share about how this surgery has helped me so much. My hospital stays are few if none now. Please be patient and mindful of what you are eating. God bless you all.
Lisa on October 06, 2016:
It looks like I'm not alone with this condition. Yay!
laura on September 15, 2015:
please give info on Domperidone my dr office can no longer help it is a savior for me how else do i get this
Anne on June 10, 2015:
thank you for this info..i have gp n have had it for 6 years..this information was very useful but still can't eat a lot of things either...
Joan 1 year ago on August 10, 2014:
I too have a sever case of Gp
have lost 134lbs to date I understand about the pain. I am still struggling with what works and what does not. Seeking advice.
robbin on April 22, 2014:
Excuse my previous post I was diagnosed with GP
AMY on October 12, 2013:
I was diagnosed with idiopathic GP one year ago and was given a medicine called DOMPERIDONE it is a COMPOUNDED medicine only made in pharmacies that do compounding formulas. This med. DOMPERIDONE has been a life saver for me. I am back to eating all of the foods I love with this med. you take it before your meals , and at bedtime. I average 2 or 3 a day. The only bad thing about this medicine is it is not FDA regulated..There for INS. doesn't cover So I pay out of pocket for mine. I LOVE being able to eat the foods I have been missing . DOMPERIDONE can be found on the web along with the info on pharmacies that make this .. HOWEVER you do have to have your DOCTOR prescribe this,and the right amount is different for each person. I am not promoting this in anyway I am just letting folks know what has helped me. Consult your own DR. for what is best for you.
Daniell on April 01, 2013:
I am new to this site! Not new to the pain. I'm looking for something I can eat. I'm a hungry girl. The pain is terrible if I eat or drink even water. Help a hungry girl out give me some tips please. I want to eat!!!
jane smith on January 21, 2013:
i have gastroparesis my doctor what let me take medience i can not eat anything much that it doesn"t hurt me i done so much better on medience i was on reglan only for around three months he would not put me on anything else let me know if you takemedience does it help and what you can eat
Stephanie on November 21, 2012:
I have lived with GP for 5 years now and started a blog, sharing what I've learned from my own experience and working with others at www.journeywithgp.com. Thanks for sharing the tips on this page, we can never stop learning how to improve our conditions!
Angela on October 27, 2012:
I have Sever Gastroparesis and its nice to have more knowledge on the the food than when i was diagnosed with it. I would really like to hear some feed back on the ginger tea. I tried it today but im sure there is another way to do the ginger. I love to eat Ginger when it is sliced and juicy like at sushi restaurant. Does anyone know how to make or where to buy it like that?!! Thanks so much
Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on May 18, 2012:
Useful and informative hub. Thanks for posting it. Voted up!
Cindy on April 25, 2012:
I have gastroparesis and am gluten intolerant. I have been eating the same foods for the past 5 yrs. or so. I am finding that some of them are now causing me problems. I am desperately looking for other foods to eat. I eat chex cereal, bananas, yogurt, eggs, ice cream, rice pudding, Boost, peanut butter, Nutella, pretzels and that's about it. Any other ideas? Thanks
carol on February 20, 2012:
Thank you for the helpful info on this condition. I was getting very depressed trying to find foods to eat. I am looking forward to the ginger tea instead of coffee in the morning. God bless.
kelleyward on January 28, 2012:
very useful info. I don't have gastroparesis but I have type 1 diabetes so this information is important to me. Thanks!
Joshuad from The World Of Making The Assumed Impossibilities Possible. on November 12, 2011:
Great info, really Gastroparesis that is associated with paralysis of parts of the gastrointestinal tract is sometimes hard to deal with as the stomach is more slower, but your hub is such a help in determining suitable kinda feed.