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Gastroparesis prevention: How to reduce your risk

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  • Reducing your risk for gastroparesis is easier said than done due to its unknown causes and absence of permanent treatment
  • Keeping your gut healthy may reduce your chances of developing gastroparesis and other digestive problems. Here are some of the dietary and lifestyle changes that you can adopt

Reducing your risk for gastroparesis is easier said than done due to its unknown causes and absence of permanent treatment. However, you should still do your best to avoid falling victim to this lifelong disease, especially if you think you’re at higher risk of developing it. The biggest factors that increase your susceptibility to this condition include:1

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Surgical procedures in the gastrointestinal (GI) system
  • Viral infections

If you’ve encountered one or more of these risk factors, then it’s even more important for you to take all the necessary measures to avoid delayed gastric emptying. The good news is that you can reduce your risk for this disease through a variety of natural methods.

Dietary and lifestyle changes may help lower the risk of gastroparesis

A healthy diet and active lifestyle can affect the gastrointestinal system positively.2 Keeping your gut healthy may reduce your chances of developing gastroparesis and other digestive problems. Here are some of the dietary and lifestyle changes that you can adopt:3,4,5,6

  • Monitor your blood sugar level — Diabetics have a higher chance of developing gastroparesis since high glucose levels may damage the nerve that controls the stomach. If you’re suffering from a form of diabetes, be sure to monitor your glucose frequently to keep it within the proper range.
  • Avoid medications that delay gastric emptying — Several medications are associated with the occurrence of gastroparesis. These include narcotics, antidepressants, dopamine agonists and progesterone.7 As much as possible, avoid these drugs to keep your gut healthy. If you’re prescribed one of these medicines, ask your physician if there is an alternative.
  • Understand the risks of certain surgeries — Before undergoing surgery to the GI tract, talk to your doctor to understand the possible complications that it may cause. Keep in mind that surgeries in the GI system may damage the vagus nerve, resulting in gastroparesis.
  • Mind what you eat — If you’re susceptible to gastroparesis, you should avoid foods that are high in insoluble fiber since they’re harder for the stomach to digest. Plan your diet wisely. Make sure that it consists of soft and well-cooked foods to lessen the strain on your stomach.
  • Exercise regularly — Exercising regularly not only may help improve the digestive process but also helps reduce psychological stress, which is one of the possible triggers of gastroparesis.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco — Alcohol and tobacco can slow down the rate of gastric emptying over time, so it’s best to avoid them if you’re at risk of gastroparesis.

How do you keep the symptoms of gastroparesis from flaring?

If you’re already diagnosed with gastroparesis, then chances are you’re looking for a way to keep its symptoms from flaring. Even though gastroparesis has no known cure yet, its debilitating symptoms can still be avoided. Following the preventive measures above may also help keep your condition in remission.

In addition, you may be required to consume pureed or liquefied food to further lessen the strain on your stomach. Spreading out your food intake into small and frequent meals is also a good idea. However, avoiding certain foods may cause you to become deficient in some vitamins and minerals. To prevent malnutrition, you must consult your physician to determine a diet plan that works best for your body.8

MORE ABOUT GASTROPARESIS

Gastroparesis: Introduction

What Is Gastroparesis?

Diabetic Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis Symptoms

Gastroparesis Causes

Gastroparesis Treatment

Gastroparesis Prevention

Gastroparesis Diet

Gastroparesis FAQ

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