Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach empties its contents too slowly; This problem can affect people with type 2 and type 1 diabetes, as the American Diabetes Association has pointed out. The vagus nerve, which controls the emptying of the stomach, can be damaged by diabetes and this causes problems with digestion. Symptoms of gastroparesis include heartburn, vomiting, weight loss, lack of glucose control and feeling of early satiety. Over time, you may develop an infection or an obstruction of the stomach called a bezoar. Some foods can make gastroparesis worse.
Foods high in fat
You should avoid foods that are high in fat if you have diabetic gastroparesis, because fat can slow down the stomach emptying the food you eat. For a person with this condition, any additional delay can be especially problematic, according to the American Motility Society. On the other hand, high-fat foods can be an important source of calories and eliminating them altogether can cause malnutrition. High-fat liquids such as smoothies, whole milk or liquid supplements may be more tolerable than solid foods such as cookies, cakes or pies. Work with your doctor and nutritionist to determine if you can add a high-fat food to your diet without making gastroparesis worse.
High fiber foods
Fiber also slows down the speed at which the stomach empties, according to the American Diabetes Association. It can also fill the stomach too fast and prevent you from eating enough food to get all the nutrients you need. If you have diabetic gastroparesis, you should avoid high-fiber foods such as dried beans, whole grains, seeds, berries, green peas and potato peels, as noted by the University of Virginia Health System. You should also avoid the fiber supplements used to treat constipation.
Foods that are hard to chew
Chewing is an important step in the digestive process. If you are unable to completely chew a food, it may be harder for you to digest it, as the American Motility Society has pointed out. These large pieces can cause additional problems when combined with the slow movement of foods through the stomach with gastroparesis. The hard-to-chew foods you should avoid are broccoli, popcorn, corn, nuts and seeds.