Saturday, February 11, 2012

Living with the Reality of Gastroparesis

Do you have Gastroparesis (nerve damage that affects the rate the stomach empties into the digestive track)? I do! I understand the physical and emotional challenges living with this health issue day after day.

Whither we accept this issue or not, human beings have an emotional connection with their food. Eating has never , and never will be simply about satisfying physical hunger. We eat not only to quell a rumbling stomach, but also to satisfy the appetite and deal with emotions.

From the moment a parent first offers a biscuit or sweet to comfort and quiet a child, food becomes a way of nourishing the soul as well as the body. From the earliest age food is used to celebrate, calm, relieve boredom or depression and to comfort in times of sadness and emotional distress.

The problem comes when emotionally driven food habits take over from healthy eating and result in uncontrolled weight gains. On the other hand, disorders of the digestive track, which causes excess diarrhea, cramping, or chronic nausea, can cause a person to feel afraid of eating anything, resulting in drastic weight gain or weight loss cause by Insufficient nutritional needs.

On a personal note, my inability to deal with food, not only caused me to fear each bit I took, but also caused me to stamp down natural cravings, as well as my emotional need for food. Taking control over your emotional response to food when your are clearly obese is one thing, ignoring this need when you are battling your bodies natural survival instinct is another.

In the end the choice is yours how you will deal with your food issues if you wish to live life with out the fear. With out standing in a grocery store isle with tears running down your face. Or walking out the door with out buy a thing to eat. Or living on only soap. Yogurt , ice cream, or baby food.

Or you can fallow a less emotional path….

1. Make a list of what food you may be sensitive to. Even though they are not considered to have Celiac Disease, many people with Gastroparesis will tell you that they also suffer from a gluten ( wheat, rye, oats, barley) sensitivity. On the other hand, people with Gastroparesis have a problem digesting certain foods like, beef, nuts…To help you deal more constructively with you GP, you need to know what bothers you, and test done for food allergies will not work simple because there is a clear difference between an allergy and simple unable to deal with a certain food with out facing complications.

2. Choose foods that are as organic in nature as you can. In other words, food items ( fresh, boxed, frozen ) that have no preservative or dyes. They cause inflammation, and can make the chronic nausea worse and cause other problems throughout the rest of your body. On top of the fact that a person with Gastroparesis, or any other intestinal problem have a holes in their mucus layer that is supposed to protect us from poisons that are found in our food and water. You don’t want to find yourself fighting the pain and nausea associated with the a sensitivity to food preservatives.

3. Begin a program of cleansing and rebuilding of the chemical balance in your whole intestinal system.


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