Are Probiotics Good For Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a medical condition characterized by delayed emptying of the stomach, resulting in a feeling of fullness after eating only small amounts of food which effects around 1.8% of the US population according to NIH.

Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts that, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer health benefits by promoting a balanced gut microbiota and supporting various aspects of digestion and overall well-being.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics are good for accelerating gastric emptying, improving bloating and reducing gastric distension according to research. Gastroparesis hinders the normal movement and emptying of the stomach, leading to symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

What Is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a condition characterized by slowed or impaired movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine, despite the absence of any blockages. It is a chronic disorder that affects the normal motility of the stomach muscles and nerves.

Symptoms of gastroparesis may include nausea, vomiting, bloating, early satiety, and abdominal pain. The condition can be managed with diet changes, medications, and other treatments. The underlying causes of gastroparesis can vary and may include nerve damage, certain medicationsm, autoimmune disorders and diabetes.

What Is Diabetic Gastroparesis?

Diabetic gastroparesis refers to gastroparesis that occurs in individuals with diabetes. It is a digestive disorder characterized by delayed gastric emptying due to nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels. The condition can also lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, early satiety, postprandial fullness, and bloating.

Diabetic gastroparesis can have negative effects on blood sugar management and nutrition. It is the most common known cause of gastroparesis. Treatment options for diabetic gastroparesis include dietary changes, medications, and other interventions to manage symptoms and improve gastric motility. Proper management of diabetes is essential in managing the condition effectively.

Can Stress Cause Gastroparesis?

Yes, stress can be a contributing factor to the development or exacerbation of gastroparesis according to a 2017 study authored by S Woodhouse. Although diabetes is the most common known cause of gastroparesis, stress is recognized as a potential trigger or aggravating factor for the condition. The relationship between stress and gastroparesis is complex, and it is believed that stress can induce or worsen symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and delayed gastric emptying.

Psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression, are commonly associated with gastroparesis, suggesting a link between mental health and gastrointestinal function. Stress-induced disruptions in gastrointestinal function, including delayed gastric emptying, have been observed. Stress alone is not the sole cause of gastroparesis, but rather a contributing factor in combination with other underlying causes.

Try These Probiotic Strains

The 3 best probiotics for Gastroparesis are Lactobacillus Acidophilus NCFM, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 and Lactobacillus Reuteri DSM 18938 according to research. A 2023 review authored by FV Mandarino, mentions several clinical trials that have focused on the effects of probiotics on gastric emptying functions and symptoms of functional gastrointestinal disorders.

  • A 2012 study authored by YF Wang, investigated the effects of multi-strain Lactobacillus capsules on gastric emptying in healthy adults over 40 years old and found that they accelerated gastric emptying. 
  • A 2011 study authored by Y Ringel, found that administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 improved symptoms of bloating in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. 
  • A 2011 study authored by F Indrio, on infants with gastroesophageal reflux disease found that Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 reduced gastric distension and accelerated gastric emptying, leading to a decrease in the frequency of regurgitation.

There are no studies, that mention probiotics are bad for Gastroperesis but more research is still needed to confirm this.

Is Fiber Bad For Gastroparesis?

Individuals with gastroparesis are generally advised to avoid high-fiber foods. High-fiber foods can slow down stomach emptying and may increase the likelihood of symptoms worsening or causing blockages in the stomach. The recommended approach is to consume small frequent meals and limit high-fiber and high-fat foods.

Soluble fibers, specifically low-viscosity ones like gum Arabic and partially hydrolyzed guar gum, may be more tolerable for individuals with gastroparesis according to a 2020 study authored by H Suresh.

Can Gastroparesis Cause Constipation?

Yes, Gatroparesis can cause constipation in some people according to research. Constipation is a condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stools, or a sense of incomplete emptying of the bowels.

A 2022 study authored by HP Parkman, on patients with symptoms of gastroparesis found that severe to very severe constipation and delayed colonic transit were present in approximately one-third of the patients.

The severity of constipation was associated with the severity of gastroparesis symptoms, the presence of irritable bowel syndrome, and delays in small bowel and colon transit time. The severity of constipation was not related to the delay in gastric emptying. 

Can Gastroparesis Cause Diarrhea?

Diarrhea is not typically considered a symptom of gastroparesis. Changes in stomach motility associated with gastroparesis can potentially affect bowel function and lead to symptoms such as diarrhea according to a 2019 study authored by M Grover. 

Further research and clinical evaluation are necessary to establish a definitive link between gastroparesis and diarrhea. Diarrhea is a condition characterized by frequent, loose, and watery bowel movements.

Can Gastroparesis Cause Gastritis?

It's not clear if Gastroparesis can cause Gastritis but there is a strong association according to research. Gastritis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining, often resulting in symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, and digestive disturbances.

A 1984 study authored by SM Fink, found that histologic gastritis, particularly severe gastritis, was associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GER). The incidence of histologic gastritis was higher in GER compared to normal subjects.

There was a correlation between the severity of histologic gastritis and delayed gastric emptying. GER patients with severe gastritis had significantly slower gastric emptying compared to those with milder gastritis or normal subjects. 

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