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Thread: Gastroparesis aka My Lazy Stomach page

  1. #1
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    Gastroparesis aka My Lazy Stomach

    Primal Fuel
    I wasn't sure where to post this, so hopefully the nutrition forum is alright. I'm hoping to solve the problem with nutrition, so there's my logic.

    I have mild gastroparesis, or as I call it, a lazy stomach. Usually diabetics are the ones with this, but basically it's when the stomach doesn't move food through like it should and sometimes the food just sits there. It leads to an uncomfortable sensation of still being full even hours after eating (since you really are still full!), a heavy feeling, GERD, and other such things. It can also cause alcohol to just sit there and irritate my ulcer instead of moving through - that happened to me once and I thought I was going to die of stomach pain in the morning.

    There is a medication I was prescribed to deal with it called Reglan... but it says not to take it more than six months (or three? don't remember) because it can cause all sorts of other muscle twitches! Not my ideal solution. I kept the bottle and just take a pill once in awhile if I'm uncomfortable; maybe a couple times a month if that. I'm really wondering if there are foods or supplements that can kick start a lazy stomach, increase digestive action, anything like that? Most of the solutions I find are prescription drug related.

    It's been better than it was in college but sometimes I still feel uncomfortable and I'd love to know if anyone else has been able to manage this sort of thing through healthy means. Thanks for any advice!
    ~Mollie

    Started PB on Monday, June 4. I'm focusing on my health in 2012, including taking natural supplements, zumba and strength training, regular church attendance and studying the Bible, spending time with good friends, and reading more. I want to see what health milestones I can achieve this year!

    Starting body fat - 41%
    Starting weight - 170 lbs
    9/4 body fat - 33%
    9/4 weight - 150 lbs

  2. #2
    JamesS's Avatar
    JamesS is offline Senior Member
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    You need to determine what the cause of your gastroparesis is so you can address the cause of the problem. Here is an old post I did on gastroparesis:

    There is no set time for that. Gastric emptying will vary between individuals, and even between foods. Proteins and fats slow down gastric emptying. Solids will also take longer as as opposed to more liquid meals. Then there is the size of the meal. Larger, harder to digest meals, such as a steak dinner will take longer than a meal high in rice. Then there are conditions where gastric emptying is delayed, a condition called gastroparesis, which is common with diabetes and hypothyroidism, but also has other causes. And rapid gastric emptying is common with weight loss surgeries to reduce the size of the stomach space. Normal digestion requires time for the enzymes to work on the food, and for the nutrients to start being extracted. This is where the hydrochloric acid from the stomach comes in. The acid does not digest the food or even break it down. The main purposes of the acid at this point are to kill pathogens you may ingested, to allow the protein digestive enzyme pepsin to work, to put free minerals in an acidic state to allow them to be absorbed, and to assist with the absorption of acid dependent vitamins like B6, B12 and folate. Once the food is properly ground, mixed, broken down and extracted, then it start passing in to the intestines as chyme. On average expect a few hours for this.

    Since it is not diabetes the first thing I recommend checking is your basal body temperature for at least a week to see if hypothyroidism is possibly a cause. Women are more prone to hypothyroidism due to their higher estrogen levels, which interfere with thyroid function.

    If not the thyroid then I recommend working on increasing your stomach acidity since gastric emptying time is influenced by stomach pH. Zinc, B vitamins and trimethylglycine (TMG) all help to increase the stomach's ability to produce stomach acid. Digestive bitters help to stimulate it release as well as the release of bile and pancreatic enzymes.

  3. #3
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    Wow, that was a very helpful post, thank you! I didn't think of hypothyroidism as a cause. I'd heard diabetes, and damage to certain nerves, none of which seemed likely to apply to me. I'll try checking out my basal body temperature and see if that gives me any leads. Thanks!
    ~Mollie

    Started PB on Monday, June 4. I'm focusing on my health in 2012, including taking natural supplements, zumba and strength training, regular church attendance and studying the Bible, spending time with good friends, and reading more. I want to see what health milestones I can achieve this year!

    Starting body fat - 41%
    Starting weight - 170 lbs
    9/4 body fat - 33%
    9/4 weight - 150 lbs

  4. #4
    Drumroll's Avatar
    Drumroll is offline Senior Member
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    Two things I can suggest...

    Drink ginger tea and yerba mate.

    Why? Both beverages have been shown to increase the secreation of gastric digestive juices. With your issues, this should be useful. Not a silver bullet, but it'll help.

  5. #5
    BestBetter's Avatar
    BestBetter is offline Senior Member
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    I had two ideas that might be worth looking into:

    1) Have you ever tried supplementing with HCl? My husband's father was in the hospital having open heart surgery recently, and he was fed intravenously for a quite awhile, and put on a month of antibiotics. When he was released, he had an awful time eating anything - it just sat in his stomache, making him gassy and bloated. (I'm sure his gut flora was way screwed up from all those antibiotics, too!) I shared some HCl digestive enzymes I had, and it made an instant improvment for him. He took one with every meal for about a week, and then he didn't need them anymore.

    I've read that underproducing HCl is a pretty common problem. I'm not sure if taking them long term presents any issues with further decreasing the stomach's natural production, and i'm not a doctor, so definitely something to run by them/do some research on.

    2) Have you tried any bitters that naturally promote bile secretion and jumpstart the digestive system? My husband is an absinthe distiller, and absinthe is traditionally consumed before a meal as an aperative to promote appetite. Now, I don't think alcohol would be a good idea, but there are lots of bitter herbs that function in the same way. Gentian is one that comes to mind. Again, something to research to make sure there are no unintended interactions.

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