If your child’s doctor finds an underlying condition that is causing the gastroparesis, they will treat that condition first. For example, if your child has diabetes, the doctor will help you and your child control it better.
Diet is an important part of gastroparesis treatment. Your child should eat four to six small meals each day, consisting mostly of low-fat foods. Avoid high-fiber foods, and cook vegetables well to lower their fiber content. Limit carbonated drinks and dairy foods. Your child’s doctor may recommend a daily multivitamin.
The gastroparesis diet is a good way to get started. It can reduce symptoms while giving your child adequate nutrition and fluids. It consists of the following steps:
- Step one. Give your child mainly liquids, which usually drain into the small intestine by gravity alone. Your child’s doctor will tailor these liquids to your child’s individual nutritional needs. This step doesn’t supply adequate nutrients to your child long term, so it lasts no longer than three days.
- Step two. This step adds some milk products, breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables, but no meats. These foods add small amounts of fat for calories. Your child’s doctor will tell you how long this step should last.
- Step three. This step is designed for long-term maintenance. It includes a wider variety of foods while limiting foods with fiber and fat to 50 mg per day.
Your child’s doctor also may recommend the following treatments:
- Medications. These may help control nausea and vomiting caused by gastroparesis. Other medications stimulate the stomach muscles and help with digestion.
- Surgery. If medications haven’t helped, your doctor may recommend surgery to help your child’s stomach empty more efficiently.