Gastroparesis is one of the stomach illnesses. The causes and symptoms of this digestive disorder, may be similar to gastric problems. It can also be called as ‘stomach laziness’. The movement of the food from the stomach to the small intestine is delayed in this condition. The muscles of the stomach play an important role in moving the food to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These are controlled by the vague nerve. These contract up and down to break up the food and are good tools for transfer of digested food.
Primary Concern for Gastroparesis
Uncontrolled diabetes can be one of the primary reasons for Gastroparesis. The normal fasting blood glucose level is between 70 and 110 mg/dL The goal in diabetes management is to keep fasting blood sugar levels under 140 mg/dL More preferably it should be in between 70 to 120 mg/dL range. Another test to monitor the blood sugar level in diabetic patients is through a blood test called hemoglobin A1c or glycohemoglobin (or glycosylated hemoglobin). Shortly called as HbA1c test.
3 STEP Diet Plan for Gastropaesis
The step1 diet consists of liquids. These prevent dehydration of the body, but supplement with important minerals. They can flow easily through the body by gravity. They are easily digested. They can even be digested around bezoars. Bezoars are solid masses of undigested food. They can block proper digestion and can develop in patients with poor movement of stomach contents. This stage will not provide sufficient energy and should be avoided long-term.
The step 2 diet provides limited diet. Small amount of dietary fat, which is generally less than 40 gm/ day is taken. Low residue and low-fat foods can be included into the diet plan. Liquids and pureed foods can be added. Fats are generally digested better in liquid form than in solid form. This type of diet has more nutritional value than liquids.
The step 3 diet is called maintenance diet. This is useful for long-term maintenance and fat is limited to 50 gm/day. This stage consists of all the step 2 diet plus additional limited fat and fibrous foods. High-fiber foods should be cooked, so that they are soft and can be chewed easily.
Diets must be tailored depending upon individual condition. This is because, the degree of gastroparesis may range from severe, long-standing to mild and easily corrected. For example diabetic patients with gastroparesis are allowed sugar-containing liquids in the step 1 diet. This is because, it is their only source of carbohydrates. But in step 2 and step 3 they are avoided concentrated sweets.
Also in all the 3 steps, liquids and food should be taken in small proportions. This helps to maintain proper nutrition.
In step 1 diet, milk & milk products, vegetables, fruits, meat or meat substitutes, fats & oils must be avoided. The recommended food at this stage are breads & grains like plain saltine crackers, beverages like Gatorade and soft drinks, soups which are fat-free like consommé and bouillon.
The step 2 diet contains certain milk and milk products, soups, bread & grains, meat & meat substitutes, vegetables, fruits, fats & oils, sweets & desserts (low concentration), beverages. In this stage, patients are given skimmed milk and its derivative products, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, fat-free consommé & bouillon, soups made from skim milk, & fat-free broths containing pasta or noodles and allowed vegetables. The foods to avoid in this stage are oatmeal, whole grain rice, beef, poultry, fish, pork products, dried beans, pea & lentils, all raw vegetables, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, peppers, pea pods, sauerkraut, citrus juices, all fresh and dried fruits, high-fat desserts like cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, ice cream and fruit preserves.
The step 3 diet consists of eggs, peanut butter ( 2 Tbsp/day), poultry, fish, lean ground beef, any type of fat, but only in small amounts, hard candies, caramels, puddings & custards made from skim milk, frozen yogurt, fruit ice, gelatin, ice milk, jelly, honey, Gatorade, soft drinks (sipped slowly throughout the day) coffee, tea, water. These foods can be taken in addition to the step 2 and step 1 diets. The foods to avoid at this stage are, whole milk products, creams (sour, light, heavy, whipping), soups made with cream, all fresh and dried fruits, fibrous meats, oatmeal, whole grain rice, all raw vegetables, high-fat desserts, fruit preserves etc.[Sources:
- http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/gastroparesis/Pages/facts.aspx ]