When my doctor diagnosed me with Gastroparesis, I felt like my life was over.
It wasn’t just about the food I could no longer eat or how long it took to digest.
From that moment forward, I knew I would never again be able to enjoy family dinners…go on a lunch date with my spouse…or just grab a quick bite at my favorite restaurant.
I know that sounds a bit dramatic but if you’ve ever eaten food only to have it sit in your stomach for 24 hours then I’m sure you can relate!
In fact, I think anyone with gastroparesis can agree – it’s a terrible disease that impacts the quality of your life. Even worse, many sufferers of GP are told there is no cure and end up fighting a lifelong battle.
Indeed, modern medicine does not hold much hope for curing gastroparesis. Patients are being prescribed dangerous pharmaceuticals that are only meant to be taken short term. Long-term use of these medicines can cause serious side-effects and complications.
My doctor put me on all kinds of prescriptions that just made things worse.
It absolutely breaks my heart to see others suffer from this – because I know exactly what its like. Let me tell you now, there ARE natural treatments for gastroparesis.
After hundreds of hours of research and testing, I have compiled together many different herbs, remedies, and other gastroparesis natural treatments that helped me reverse the condition.
By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know exactly what to do to improve your digestion so you can get back to eating the foods you enjoy and spending time with your family.
You CAN get through this. Do not let Gastroparesis control your life anymore. You deserve so much better.
Natural Cures for Gastroparesis
Patients with delayed gastric emptying are at high risks of malnutrition. Deficiency in any one nutrient can cause further disorders; something you don’t want to deal with on top of this illness. A multivitamin in solid pill form can be challenging to digest. Therefore, I highly recommend consuming a liquid multivitamin. Liquid multivitamins are fully assimilated and easier for the stomach to handle.
Adequate vitamin D levels are needed for gastric emptying. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure, diet, and supplementation. Calculating vitamin D intake can be challenging. It’s estimated that 10 to 15 minutes in the sun is enough for lighter skinned individuals, whereas darker skin requires more time to absorb. It can also vary based on your geographic location. I would recommend that you first test your vitamin D levels to determine where you’re at.
Once you know where you’re at, you can optimize by spending time in the sun. In order to get vitamin D from diet, you’ll need to consume pastured, grass-fed animal products and wild-caught fish. Your liquid multivitamin should also contain vitamin D and you may need to supplement additional D during winter months.
Magnesium is needed for over 300 different functions in the body and is absolutely critical for nervous system support. Unless you’re juicing produce, you’re likely deficient in magnesium. There isn’t a clear answer on how much you should take, however. I would aim for 400mg of elemental magnesium per day. If you have been deficient for a long period of time, then you may need to take slightly more.
Magnesium supplements are not made equal. There are many different forms of magnesium and many have absorption rates as low as 12%. This means if you’re taking 2000mg of magnesium then you’re only getting 200mg of it!
Magnesium pills can also be challenging to digest. I highly recommend using a liquid ionized magnesium.
Betaine helps with increasing stomach acid and breaking down food. Low stomach acid has been associated with gastroparesis. When purchasing a betaine supplement, it’s important to choose one that also has pepsin. This is because people with low stomach acid tend to also have low pepsin levels. Betaine should be taken right before a meal.
Before your body can absorb nutrition from food, it must be broken down. This is where digestive enzymes come into play. Individuals can benefit greatly by consuming digestive enzymes prior to a meal. It’s important that you choose a digestive enzyme without any fillers that may be hard on your stomach.
Humans have trillions of bacteria within the lining of their gut and they have a tremendous role in our health. Not only does 80% of our immune system depend on them, we also need them for digestion. Probiotic supplementation is a must for sufferers of gastroparesis. Probiotics are a live organism and as such you will need to select one that is shelf-stable.
Herbal Remedies for Gastroparesis
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera juice soothes the digestive system, feeds intestinal flora, and promotes regularity.
Ginger is a powerful digestion-enhancing herb and has been scientifically proven to promote gastric emptying and motility. Ideally, ginger should be consumed with every meal. You can take advantage of ginger benefits by cooking food that contains ginger or sipping ginger tea after meals.
Peppermint has shown to accelerate gastric emptying and, in addition, is very soothing for stomach cramps and nausea. Peppermint should be consumed with meals and throughout the day as needed.
Fennel has a myriad of health benefits for digestion related ailments. It helps promote gastric emptying and relieves nausea and bloating. Fennel should be taken with meals and throughout the day as needed.
Commonly regarded as a nuisance, this weed actually offers amazing health benefits. It helps to stimulate your digestive juices, promoting motility and relief for stomach issues. I highly recommend incorporating dandelion into your daily regimen. It’s also a delicious substitute for black coffee when drank in tea form.
This ancient herb helps relax tension which in turn can aid digestion. It’s great for nausea and stomach pain. This herb should be kept on hand at all times.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herb that works very well for gastric disorders. Studies show that triphala can help with constipation and promote appetite. Furthermore, in another study, triphala actually performed better than Reglan for gastric emptying.
A proper diet is critical to healing gastroparesis and must not be skipped.
A paleo or primal, diet is one that closely mimics what hunter-gatherers consumed. It is based on the principal that we have not adapted to consumption of wheat and grain. We started consuming wheat only about 10,000 years ago. On the other hand, a hunter-gatherer diet lasted about 2 millions years.
The primary focus of paleo is meat, fruit, vegetables, and some nuts. Wheat and grain should not be consumed at all. Raw dairy can be consumed. I would recommend avoiding ultra pasteurized dairy products as they contain no nutrition and can be rough on digestion.
The macronutrient consumption in paleo follows as such: High Fat, Moderate Protein, and Low Carbohydrate.
Depending on the severity of your illness, you may need to modify this to low fat, low protein, and low carb. You can work on slowly increasing your fat and protein consumption.
There is a significant amount of testimonials from people who have treated gastroparesis with a paleo diet and I strongly encourage you not to overlook this. Paleo is not just a diet, it’s an entire lifestyle. Those with gastroparesis caused by diabetes will especially benefit from this due to the low carbohydrates.
Eating paleo means you’ll be on a gluten free diet. However, I wanted to touch base on gluten a bit further. Frankly, I believe gluten is a potent neurotoxin and that it can punch holes through your gut lining. Gluten, as it sounds, is essentially a glue-like protein found in wheat. It sounds hard to digest already. I feel that no one should be consuming gluten, especially if you have GP.
Gluten is really just one of many issues with wheat. Wheat and grain contain many anti-nutrients that impede digestion and absorption of nutrients. They also tend to be higher in omega 6 inflammatory fats.
Furthermore, wheat and grain lack any sort of significant nutrients. If you check into a nutritional analysis of grain, you’ll find that it lacks many micro-nutrients.
I encourage you to check out the required amount of vitamins and minerals you need on a daily basis. It’s actually pretty hard to reach these requirements. Those with gastroparesis have an even harder time getting sufficient nutrition.
There is simply no room on your plate for nutrition-less grain.
Smaller Meals, Fasting, and You
The concept of eating three meals a day is absurd and has no basis in science whatsoever. We are the only creatures on earth that follow a breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule. Did you know that it takes up to 8 hours to completely digest food? Furthermore, your body spends 70% of it’s energy towards digestion.
That’s right, nothing is free and every function in your body requires energy to perform. If you put this together, you’ll realize that eating throughout the entire day is a bad idea. You’re essentially giving up 70% of your energy to digestion the entire day. This limits your bodies healing capabilities significantly.
After 8 hours of not consuming food, your body begins to enter a “fasting” state. There are just too many benefits of fasting to list here, but I’d like to cover a few. While fasting, that 70% energy that was being spent on digestion can be utilized elsewhere.
Your body will repair itself and heal. The immune system is strengthened and your nervous system is stimulated. This is very important considering the damaged vagus nerve may be the cause of this disorder.
Our ancestors did not follow a strict eating schedule, nor do animals in the wild. It is common for them to have large meals followed by long gaps of no food. Fasting is an evolutionary trait we gained from our ancestors and it is something everyone should be using.
Fasting is not starving yourself. You still eat the same amount of calories and nutrients, but you do it in a shorter time frame.
With that being said, fasting is not for everyone. Depending on the severity of your gastroparesis and if you’re malnourished, you may wish to refrain from fasting and instead eat smaller meals throughout the day.
Don’t Drink Liquids While Eating
You should not be drinking liquid before, during, or after a meal. Drinking liquid will dilute the stomach acid you have and impact digestion. The exception to this would be acid-like drinks including kombucha, vinegar, kefir, etc.
Don’t Sit After Eating
Digestion is impacted if you sit or lay down after consuming a meal. You should aim to move around and go for a walk after eating.
No Smoking & No Alcohol
This requires little explanation. Under no circumstances should you be using substances that can damage your body, especially while you’re trying to heal.
Juicing is one of the most powerful options you have when it comes to GP. Juicing involves running fruits and vegetables through a machine that strips all the fiber out, leaving you a glass of juice. In this manner, it is very easy to drink pounds of vegetables. A pound of carrots is only 8 ounces of juice.
The benefits of this are multiple. It allows you to receive extremely high amounts of nutrition without dealing with fiber. Fresh, raw juice is easy to digest and tastes great. You can easily consume many pounds of vegetables. This is critical as malnutrition is common in this disorder. A high-quality juicer (like this one) is one of the best investments you can make for your health.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
Diabetes is one cause of gastroparesis. Blood sugar should be stabilized through smart food choices. A paleo diet, mentioned above, has a low impact on blood sugar.
Chew Your Food
This sounds like something your parents lectured you on when young, but it’s very true. Digestion starts in your mouth. Saliva contains powerful enzymes that break down food before it lands into your stomach.
Not chewing your food properly places more work on your stomach. Make sure your food is thoroughly broken down in your mouth before swallowing. Relax, and try to enjoy your food.
Bone broth is made by simmering animal bones for 24 to 48 hours. It may sound gross, but it’s actually delicious and tastes like chicken soup/broth. You can add spices and vegetables to improve flavor. Bone broth contains many beneficial amino acids, collagen, and gelatin, which helps soothe the gut. Many gut healing diets consider bone broth a staple of the diet. You can learn how to make bone broth here.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You should consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with every meal. Vinegar contains beneficial enzymes and acids that aid your digestion. It is important to choose raw unfiltered organic vinegar.
Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that contains numerous beneficial acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. It’s absolutely fantastic for digestion and I strongly encourage anyone with digestion issues to consume kombucha on a daily basis. You can find it bottled in stores, but it gets expensive buying it. I would recommend learning how to make it yourself.
Kefir is another fermented beverage, similar to kombucha. There are two types of kefir; milk and water. Simply, water kefir uses water and milk kefir uses milk. They’re both tasty and contain similar compounds to kombucha. I would say milk kefir contains the most probiotics, typically reaching trillions per quart.
It’s simply not possible to obtain optimum health without exercise and physical activities.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a deep breathing exercise that involves contracting a muscle known as your diaphragm. It requires practice to learn, but there are many benefits to this type of breathing. In general, abdominal breathing is considered a healthier way to breath.
This type of breathing will actually stimulate your vagus nerve, making it another critical part of natural remedies for treating gastroparesis.
Yoga is an ancient discipline that involves mind, body, and spirit. It’s tremendously relaxing and it’s exercises strengthen your vagus nerve, which is a massive bonus for sufferers of GP.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that involves inserting thin needles at key points in your body. While this sounds horrifying, it’s actually not. The needles are tiny, about the size of a strand of hair, and they barely break the surface of your skin. Many people actually fall asleep during the process because it is so relaxing.
The positive results of acupuncture are grounded in science and, in fact, there are studies of acupuncture on GP.
One study involves a 61 year old patient who had acupuncture performed twice per week. At the end of the treatment, she had 100% gastric emptying ability and reported significant improvement in all symptoms.
In another study, 80 people were split into three groups. The group that received acupuncture had a much higher successful treatment rate.
You can find acupuncturists near you by using this search tool.
Stress absolutely destroys your body inside. Many people don’t seem to understand the impact that stress has on your body. It affects every single organ within your body. Stress can actually shut down your digestive system. Blood flow to your stomach is reduced and stomach contractions used to move food are restricted. Bile secretions needed for digestion are also reduced.
This completely counters your efforts for treatment. I understand we live in a stressful world. It’s easy to slip away and worry about money, relationships, health, etc. It’s critical that you learn to manage your stress. Live in the present and learn to appreciate what you have. The future is bright – you are in control of it.
Tying into our earlier point of stress, meditation is a powerful way to promote healing. There are over 3,000 studies on meditation that show its positive effects on health. Meditation is frankly one of the most powerful remedies I have learned in my entire life. Having the ability to effortlessly empty my mind and focus on a single subject is amazing.
There are many different ways to meditate and it’s very easy to learn. You can meditate as short or as long as you’d like – benefits are gained with even just a minute. One method that I enjoy is choosing a neutral object to focus on like a pen or flower. Empty your mind and focus only on that object. You can also close your eye and visualize a mental image of it.
You may notice within seconds that other thoughts flood into your mind. It’s almost time to make dinner. You need to feed your dog. You have homework due soon.
This is normal. Empty your mind again and continue to focus/visualize that single object. Continue this exercise; every time excess thoughts come in, empty and repeat.
The more you do this, the longer you’ll be able to focus on a single object without other thoughts impeding in.
Eventually, you’ll be able to apply this automatically without trying to meditate. It becomes easy to sit down and read a book, or perform daily activities without worries and stress.
Meditation has more benefits than I could possibly list. The reduction in stress will assist in your digestion. In addition, there is improved blood flow which allows your body to carry vital nutrients for healing.
The “om chant” is a vibration or mantra used in yoga and meditation. While it may sound goofy to some, it’s a great healing/relaxation tool. Every living creature on earth depends on a specific electromagnetic frequency to survive. Things like electronics oscillate at a different, unnatural frequency. This can dislodge our natural rhythm and is actually harmful.
The “om” sound vibrates at 432 Hz. This is more in tune with nature and offers a grounding experience.
A scientific study found that the “om chant” actually stimulated the vagus nerve in the stomach. Since delayed gastric emptying may be caused by damaged vagus nerve, this is extremely important to incorporate into your healing protocol.
This is something that can’t be repeated enough. Your body performs repairs while asleep and as such a deep sleep is required for treatment. The length of sleep required varies on the individual but it’s good to aim for 7 to 9 hours.
Putting It All Together
One of the biggest reasons that natural approaches to healing fail is that people only use a single remedy. Supplements, as the name suggests, are used to supplement an already healthy lifestyle. While it is certainly possible to cure a condition with a single herb, it is more ideal to take a holistic approach and combine multiple solutions.
Please do not just purchase a single herb expecting major relief. I really encourage you to take a multi-point approach. You should aim to utilize as many remedies for each of the categories above as possible.
Another issue is that many people choose weak or low-quality herbal supplements. Herbs contain thousands of bio-active compounds that can be oxidized or damaged by air and processing method. I spent many days hand selecting the most potent supplements that contain optimum levels for therapeutic relief.
I personally believe that you should be following every single remedy I listed for the best success rate. There are certainly a lot of remedies and depending on your tolerance and severity level, you may need to take it slow. That is totally fine. It’s important not to get overwhelmed or stressed out. Introduce each thing into your routine slowly.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me. I will do everything I can to get back to you in a timely manner. I know this is a challenging disorder. You’re not alone.
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