Gastroparesis is also known as delayed gastric emptying. Symptoms include getting full after a few bites, nausea, vomiting (sometimes undigested food), constipation (or diarrhea sometimes), abdominal pain, and extreme bloating. These home remedies for gastroparesis can help you manage symptoms while you also receive gastroparesis treatment from a medical doctor.
A good day with gastroparesis is a bowl of ramen, a smoothie, and maybe a banana or orange, although that might be stretching it. Lately, it’s only been smoothies. Sometimes baby food even. I haven’t had red meat in four years. I rarely eat even chicken or pork. I can do fish, shrimp, and tofu. I have become an unwilling pescatarian occasionally but generally a vegetarian. Umm… what?! Hold on. Is this real life?
Sadly, my friends, it is. This is the reality of someone with gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a dysautonomic disorder in which your stomach is partially paralyzed (paresis). Normally your stomach uses powerful muscle contractions to move your food through your digestive system. However in gastroparesis, these muscle contractions are much weaker due to the stomach being partially paralyzed, and the food moves very, very slowly. Often times there are other compounding things like unintentional weight loss or gain. In fact, many people with gastroparesis are often highly malnourished. They don’t get the vitamins and proteins they need in their diet because they don’t eat enough. A lot of people end up on feeding tubes, and it can even result in death if not managed properly.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for gastroparesis at this time, and treatment is focused on symptoms like nausea or constipation. Because of this, people with gastroparesis are mostly on their own to figure out what works for them. I myself have had to switch to a completely liquid/soft food diet. In my journey with gastroparesis over the last seven years, I have found some things that help. We’ve compiled a list of home remedies for gastroparesis for you here. These are things The Ability Toolbox staff have tried themselves, and we love these products. Hope you do too!
Gastroparesis Home Remedies: Comfortable Clothing
With all of the bloating and abdominal pain that comes along with gastroparesis, your tummy can become very sensitive to pressure from pants or tight-fitting clothing. We love these super soft modal lounge pants because they are loose, soft, comfy, and won’t put pressure on an already painful belly.
With 4.5 stars on Amazon, this “buttery soft” bra is the perfect solution for when the ladies need to be corralled, but regular bras are painful. Its super soft material doesn’t irritate our skin and almost feels like nothing! The scoop neck means that it won’t poke out the top of your shirt like a lot of other sports bras. These are great for when your abdomen is super tight and painful and a regular bra is just too much pressure or too uncomfortable for you. I’ve spoken to a lot of people with gastroparesis, and we all seem to have the same trouble with bras, so here’s to comfort!
Tank Top Cami
So I love these because it’s a bra and tank top in one. They have thicker straps than a regular cami (more of a tank top) which is awesome. And then, of course, there’s the shelf bra, which as we were discussing earlier, bras can be such a pain so I love that this tank top cami is a 2-in-1 bra and shirt! Again, very little pressure on your tummy, but if you want it to be extra loose, you can size up one.
Home Remedies for Gastroparesis Pain
Heating pads are life with gastroparesis flares. When nothing else gives me relief, a heating pad can. Drape it over your stomach and the heat will help ease the pain and TMI, it helps move things along too. Highly rated on Amazon, we love this because of its XL size (12″ X 24″) and how soft it is, not to mention the relief it provides for gastroparesis.
GENIANI Extra Large Electric Heating Pad for Back Pain and Cramps Relief - Auto Shut Off - Soft Heat Pad for Moist & Dry Therapy - Heat Patch (Aqua Blue)
Sloths are the official mascot of gastroparesis. Slow, slow, slow. That’s how we go! This sloth warmie is SO cute. You have the cute little sloths hugging each other, and they actually have velcro on their hands so you can separate them. Give one to your favorite friend, have one wherever you go, hang them from a backpack or just cuddle up with them. It’s very comforting to cuddle with these guys because they are filled with heatable material and smell like lavender. So pop those guys in the microwave for like 30 seconds (do NOT microwave for longer than one minute) and cuddle your gastroparesis flares away!
Home Remedies for Gastroparesis Nausea and GI Issues
Nausea is a huge part of gastroparesis. A HUGE part. We swear by these home remedies for gastroparesis to help with nausea. Give them a try!
These pops are meant to help with morning sickness, and with 4.5 stars out of almost 13,000 reviews, they are a great choice. Gluten-free and Kosher certified with no GMO ingredients, these tasty (but sour!) candies are worth a try if you are struggling with gastroparesis-related nausea.
Preggie Pop Drops Morning Sickness - Assorted Preggie Pops for Morning Sickness Relief. Yummy Candy Drops for Pregnancy Nausea Relief. Soothing Nausea Relief for Pregnant Women. 48 Count
Another way to combat gastroparesis-related nausea is with a pressure point nausea bracelet. There is a pressure point on our wrists that is said to help with nausea when pressure is applied correctly. These bracelets use that as their base for success. You can find expensive models and cheap models, but they all work the same. By applying pressure to the pressure point with the bracelet, gastroparesis nausea may be able to be helped by a bracelet like these. When I’m in a gastroparesis flare, my nausea is out of control and I will try ANYTHING to help me feel better. Wouldn’t you?
Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristband for Motion or Morning Sickness, Adult, 1 Pair (Color May Vary)
Ginger is my jam for gastroparesis. Ginger has natural anti-nausea properties, so ginger candy and ginger beer (see below) are an ideal choice for a natural remedy for gastroparesis nausea. These candies are organic, vegan, gluten-free, Kosher, and non-GMO, making them a great choice for anyone in a gastroparesis flare or with gastroparesis-related nausea.
Natural Ginger Tummydrops (Resealable Bag of 33 Individually Wrapped Drops) Certified Oregon Tilth USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, GFCO Gluten-Free, and Kof-K Kosher
Don’t worry, it’s not REALLY beer. This Gosling’s ginger beer is AMAZING. Much better than ginger ale at helping with gastroparesis flares or gastroparesis-related nausea, this tart ginger beer really, really helps me with my nausea, and I know other people swear by it too! Be warned — it has a strong ginger taste but it really does help with nausea. Highly recommend!
Goslings Ginger Beer, Ginger Beer, All Natural Flavor with the Refreshing Zip of Ginger, 12 Oz (Pack of 15, Total of 180 Oz)
Home Remedies for Gastroparesis Constipation
So let’s talk about a little more intimate of a symptom with a gastroparesis flare — constipation. Without getting into too much detail, constipation is a really hard (hehe) symptom of gastroparesis flares to deal with. We love this Senna Smooth Move tea. Senna is a natural laxative, and it can help move things along when things just don’t want to move. Make sure to follow the directions about how and when to have a cup and don’t overdo it, but I swear by this tea when nothing else is working during a gastroparesis flare for constipation.
Cooking Home Remedies for Gastroparesis
As a gastroparesis warrior, I know that eating is one of the biggest challenges, right? What do we eat? How much do we eat? How often do we eat? All of these have different answers depending on who you ask. Don’t try to force food down you know you can’t eat just to be sick later. Find something your body can tolerate. A lot of people swear by a liquid/soft food diet for gastroparesis flares and gastroparesis-related nausea. I have to say that I do too.
These gastroparesis cookbooks can give you recipes to help with your gastroparesis and food that isn’t too hard on our tum tums. We love both of these highly-rated books on Amazon that have yummy gastroparesis recipes. Make it a date night or a fun friends cooking night and have yourself a real (gastroparesis-friendly) party!
The Gastroparesis Cookbook: 102 Delicious, Nutritious Recipes for Gastroparesis Relief
39 used from $3.35
Vegan Protein Powder
For the last who knows how long, I’ve had to be on a completely liquid/soft food diet because of my gastroparesis flare. I’ve had to find ways to get my nutrition without eating food, and this is the best meal replacement powder I’ve found. It’s not a traditional protein powder (and you can actually get it with EBT), it’s more a nutritional meal replacement powder. It has 20g of protein, 1g of sugar, and 21 vitamins and minerals. It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and has 44 superfoods in it. You can’t go wrong! It comes in several flavors but the vanilla is my favorite. I use a scoop (or 1/2 scoop as too much protein makes me nauseous), and blend it into a smoothie in my Ninja (see below). I love to add frozen bananas, fruit, and almond milk to mine and call it a day! Sometimes I mix the fruit up, but pro tip — cut your bananas in half, freeze them, and use them in your smoothies to make them thicker! I live off smoothies and can’t say enough about this powder or the Ninja below that absolutely pulverizes frozen fruit into smoothies. When I’m in a gastroparesis flare, smoothies are one of the only foods that work for me. With this meal powder and the blender below, you’ll never be smoothie-less again!
Garden of Life Raw Organic Meal Replacement Powder - Vanilla, 28 Servings, 20g Plant Based Protein Powder, Superfoods, Greens, Vitamins Minerals Probiotics & Enzymes All-in-One Meal Replacement Shake
Ninja Foodie 2-in-1 Duo
This blender is a BEAST. At 1200 watts and with turbo torque, it can blend ANYTHING. I put my frozen bananas, frozen fruit, my almond milk and my protein powder in, and in 30 seconds I have my smoothie. Be careful to make sure there is enough liquid in the awesome to-go cups they provide or the motor will not like it. The cups are great because you can blend them in the cup, add a lid and you’re off! This blender is great for people with gastroparesis who need a quick way to make a smoothie or blend some food up. There’s also a special cup that comes with it that can make nut butters, sorbet, smoothie bowls… all the thicker things. This is one of the most used appliances I have in my kitchen, and it really is worth every penny, especially when you have gastroparesis and have to live off smoothies and blended food.
Ninja SS101 Foodi Smoothie Bowl Maker & Nutrient Extractor* 1200 WP, 6 Functions for Smoothies, Extractions*, Bowls & Spreads, smartTORQUE, 14-oz. Smoothie Bowl Maker, (2) To-Go Cups & Lids, Silver
20 used from $71.09
What are the best home remedies for gastroparesis that work for you?
Let us know in the comments.
Dr. Wilson graduated from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL. In addition to her private practice, she works as a science communicator, teaching health literacy in schools and online.