Gastroparesis is a nerve disorder that affects the way food moves from the stomach through to the small intestine. Diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis. About 20 percent of people with type 1 diabetes will develop it. (Source: Everyday Health)
Gastroparesis AKA “Delayed Gastric Emptying” is a condition in which the stomach empties slow, or not at all. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: vomiting, nausea severe bloating, weight loss and malnutrition. …There is NO CURE and no medications specifically for this condition. (Source: We the People Petition to Recognize Gastroparesis…)
Gastroparesis has become a complication of my T1D and is extremely frustrating.
Crystal Saltrelli, a certified health coach and author, who also suffers from this disorder, presents one of the most comprehensive overviews I’ve read to date on Gastroparesis. Here are a few highlights from her interview with Global Genes.
…My advice to others is that if you want something to understand what gastroparesis is and how it’s affecting you, you have to educate them. …I suggest sharing a basic definition and relating it to something they’re familiar with: “it feels like I have the stomach flu every day,” or “it feels like I just ate Thanksgiving dinner… all the time,” or “it’s like having constant morning sickness.”
…I would say the most common complication is under-nutrition or malnutrition due to a severely restricted diet.
…The GP-friendly diet is low in fat, however, any kind of fat is usually well tolerated in small amounts. This includes nut butter, seed butters, olive oil, coconut oil, and butter. Well-cooked fruits and vegetables without skins, seeds, or peels also tend to be well-tolerated and can be an important source of nutrition. Lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey, lean ground beef, white fish, and eggs are good choices for most people with gastroparesis. Some will find that they have trouble with large amounts of protein at one time, however. I’m also a big fan of fresh juices and smoothies as part of a healthy GP-friendly diet.
…Stress management is another vital component of a healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to managing gastroparesis. When we are stressed, our bodies go into fight or flight mode. This shuts down all unnecessary processes in the body, including digestion! …Because it’s impossible to eliminate stress, I recommend actively practicing relaxation to put the body back into a state where it can function properly. Anything from deep breathing to prayer to yoga to Tai Chi can be used to do this. It’s just important to do it regularly.
Crystal’s books, Eating for Gastroparesis and Living (Well!) with Gastroparesis are available on Amazon.com
Have you experienced Gastroparesis as a complication of your T1D? Feel free to share in the comments section of this post.