Anyone who suffers from gastrointestinal conditions knows that the side effects can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Gastroparesis is no exception. Understanding the condition along with all the treatment options is critical to reducing the severity of symptoms. Probiotics are available in supplement form or through fortified foods, and can be taken to alleviate or reduce the side effects associated with gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the gastrointestinal, or GI, tract characterized by delayed gastric motility and paralysis of the stomach. Digestion requires peristalsis, which is a rhythmic movement of the intestines to propel nutrients through the GI tract. In simplified terms, gastroparesis is when peristalsis is slow or out of rhythm. A 2009 study in the "World Journal of Gastroenterology" reported the most dominant symptoms in individuals with gastroparesis were nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating.
The same 2009 study in the "World Journal of Gastroenterology" reported that individuals successfully managed their symptoms through nutrition and diet therapy, and medications to speed motility through the GI tract and alleviate nausea and pain. Nutrition management includes eating smaller, more frequent meals, limiting fat and fiber intake, and replacing solids with liquids as needed.
Role of Probiotics for Health
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide a health benefit when consumed in adequate amounts. They can be found in fortified foods, such as yogurt or smoothie drinks, or in supplements. Research has proven the benefits of probiotic use in alleviating a host of GI ailments, such as chronic intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and constipation. They have also been linked to boosting health in those suffering from food allergies, vaginitis and liver disease.
Probiotics for Gastroparesis
There are limited studies on the effect of probiotics on gastroparesis symptoms. However, a 2011 study published in the "American Journal of Gastroenterology" reported that probiotics may alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of gastroparesis, such as bloating. Since probiotics improve gastrointestinal health, individuals suffering from gastroparesis may benefit from regular consumption of probiotics through fortified foods or supplements.