Busting Gastroparesis Myths

Myth # 1: If you simply change your diet, your symptoms will go away.

Following a gastroparesis-friendly diet is important for managing your illness, however it will not make all of your symptoms go away.  Because of your gastroparesis, at a baseline your stomach empties slowly, so changing your diet will not make your stomach empty any quicker. Dietary fat dietary fiber slows down digestion in everyone, even people without gastroparesis. When you minimize fiber and fat in your diet – it allows your stomach to empty as close to baseline speed as possible.  Consider your diet as a symptom management tool, in combination with other remedies, in order to control and manage your illness[1].


Myth #2:  Only people with diabetes have gastroparesis.

Although more common in people with diabetes, gastroparesis can affect anyone.

If you have Diabetes and gastroparesis the illness can make it more difficult to control and manage your diabetes. Gastroparesis can make it more challenging to manage your blood sugar – creating a dangerous situation for those with diabetes. If you don’t have diabetes, gastroparesis can also be caused by a mineral imbalance or by damage to the nerves from the pancreas to the stomach, which prevents the muscles from working properly[2].


 Myth #3: Gastroparesis isn’t that serious.

Due to the fact that the illness has internal effects, many people and physicians often underestimate the serious nature of the disease. Although someone with gastroparesis may look fine on the outside – inside it’s a different story. Many serious complications can arise from the disease including:

  • Severe dehydration:Often caused by vomiting and not being able to replace fluids.
  • Malnutrition: Not being able to digest and absorb proper nutrients.
  • Bezoars: When food is not digested properly – it can stay in the stomach and harden causing bezoars. These cause nausea and vomiting and if left untreated, they prevent food from passing into your small intestine which can be life threatening.
  • Psychological Effects: Long-term effects of dealing with gastroparesis symptoms can make it difficult to work or continue basic responsibilities, making sufferers susceptible to psychological issues.


Want to learn more about gastroparesis? View our infographic for all the essential facts.

If you’re living with gastroparesis, consider clinical research as an option. Our facility is now enrolling volunteers with gastroparesis in a clinical research study testing an investigational medication. Complete the form below to see if you qualify.




[1] “Home.” Crystal Saltrelli CHC, 8 Mar. 2016, livingwithgastroparesis.com/gastroparesis-diet-myths/.
[2] Marks, MD Jay W. “What Is Gastroparesis? Diet, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” MedicineNet, www.medicinenet.com/gastroparesis/article.htm.
“Gastroparesis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Nov. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355787.