Gastroparesis is a rare, chronic disease that causes a delayed emptying of food from the stomach to the small intestine. A person living with Gastroparesis will be nauseous throughout most of the day, experience the sensation of being full even if they have not eaten, and vomit often. For those living with the condition, taking part in regular summer activities can be difficult. Follow these tips to make the most of your summer.
Because digesting food is so hard, it is important to anticipate that you may run into a situation where food options are limited and may not meet your needs. Always have snacks or small meals on hand to avoid having to eat something that may cause discomfort or an upset stomach later on.
Dehydration during the summer months is a huge cause of concern for everyone, but especially those living with gastroparesis. People with gastroparesis are already at risk for dehydration, and becoming dehydrated can make symptoms like nausea worse. Some people find that drinks with extra electrolytes like Gatorade and Pedialyte are helpful to have on hand during extreme heat.
If traveling, make sure to be mindful of your choices and do your research ahead of time. When staying in a hotel, make sure to request a room with a small kitchen in case you can prepare and store meals that are friendly to your diet if need be. When traveling to a destination where the native language is different from yours, be sure to research dietary-related vocabulary in the native language so you know what to look for and what to avoid. If you’re interested in trying new foods, make sure to do research ahead of time and plan downtime afterwards in case of any discomfort.
Keep a Normal Routine
Try to stick as closely as possible to your normal routine during summer months. Plan some time to exercise, generally stick to foods you are comfortable with, and plan activities that are not food-oriented. Make sure to choose low-fat, nutritious options when you do eat out.
The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with gastroparesis in the summer months is to listen to your body and respect your limits. If you begin to feel tired, sick, or uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to take a break to rest.