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By Cathy Chapman

One of the autonomic functions that can be affected by MSA is the digestive system. Gastroparesis occurs when the stomach delays emptying due to poorly functioning muscles. It basically paralyzes your stomach, making it difficult to digest food and pass it to your intestines, which can lead to food sitting too long in your stomach. Some people with gastroparesis have few or mild symptoms, and others can find it to be very uncomfortable or painful.

Common symptoms of gastroparesis:

  1. Nausea
  2. Feeling full after only a few bites
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Bloating
  5. Vomiting
  6. Acid Reflux
  7. Weight loss
  8. Dehydration

While there is no direct cure for gastroparesis, there are some changes you can make to your diet to get some relief. Here are a few things that I have found to be helpful and experts recommend that can help with the management of gastroparesis symptoms:

  1. Eat smaller meals four to six times a day instead of three big meals.
  2. Limit your intake of fatty foods.
  3. Avoid raw vegetables.
  4. Avoid red meat.
  5. Avoid nuts and beans.

When especially symptomatic (experiencing a flare-up), following a liquid diet can help alleviate symptoms. A few things that are most effective to get your nutrition on this diet include:

  1. Smoothies
  2. Pureed soups
  3. Yogurt
  4. Broth
  5. Gelatin
  6. Thin hot cereal

A good basic smoothie that I like is the recipe below.

Blend together and enjoy:
½ cup milk, or almond milk, or rice milk (my personal favorite)
1 scoop protein powder (my personal favorite)
½ cup frozen fruit of your choice

Another helpful remedy is drinking ginger tea. Ginger increases motility and can relieve the discomfort of nausea.

This is basic information about gastroparesis and is meant to provide tips and general guidance to alleviate pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing digestive pain or discomfort, speak with your doctor to determine your best course of action together..