Diet Tips for Motility Disorders

Wednesday 20 October 2021
Gastrointestinal Disorders
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents


I. Healthy Eating Habits for Motility Disorders

II. What to Eat and Drink

a. Carbohydrates

b. Vegetables, Fruits, and Legumes

c. Meats, Fish, and Poultry

d. Motility-friendly Drinks

III. Keeping a Food Journal


Healthy Eating Habits for Motility Disorders

Motility disorders like gastroparesis and gastritis can cause stomach inflammation, stomach pain, and delayed gastric emptying. If you have a motility disorder, you may get stomach aches often, even if you only eat small amounts of food. 

Because motility disorders can cause you to eat less and less, getting enough vitamins and minerals can become challenging. Malnutrition can lead to a host of other health complications, so it is important to prevent motility disorders any way you can.

Gastric motility refers to the rhythmic contractions that move food through your digestive system. The intestinal walls in your body are made up of layers of muscles that contract and relax in a coordinated way to ensure that food passes through the intestine properly. [1]

a person holding their lower stomach area with both hands.  width=

Gastric motility disorders are not limited to gastroparesis and gastritis. Hirschsprung’s disease, scleroderma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and achalasia all affect the digestive system. Several medications to relieve motility disorder symptoms are available, and you can order prescription drugs for gastroparesis from Canada Pharmacy Depot’s drug page. It is important to eat a healthy diet to maximize the effectiveness of your treatment plan. Read on to learn more about foods you should include or avoid as part of your diet plan. 

What to Eat and Drink

Before adding or taking out certain foods, it is important to consult your doctor or dietician. This is to ensure any dietary changes will not negatively affect your current treatment plan. The goal of improving your diet is to reduce the occurrences of stomach pain and nausea while getting enough nutrients. 

a. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. When you have a motility disorder, certain carbohydrates can be tough on the stomach. Minimizing your intake of simple sugars can help reduce symptoms, so cut out foods such as:

  • Candy
  • Cake and cookies
  • Ice cream and soda pop
  • Jelly and jam
  • Table sugar [2]

Some forms of carbohydrates can be high in dietary fiber. These types of carbohydrates should be avoided if possible. Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and fibrous vegetables may be healthy options for most people but may exacerbate symptoms for those with motility disorders. This is because dietary fiber can stimulate the lining in your colon and increase the bulk of stool, affecting your bowel habits and slowing the movement of food through your gastrointestinal tract. [2] [3]

Instead of fibrous starches and simple sugars, choose carbohydrates like pasta, white rice, bagels, and potatoes without the skin. [2] In the right amounts, these types of carbohydrates can give you energy without spiking your blood sugar level.

spaghetti on a fork.  width=

b. Vegetables, Fruits, and Legumes

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, you may also want to avoid high-fiber fruits. Uncooked nuts or plant seeds may lead to nausea and abdominal discomfort. You may similarly wish to avoid food items like corn, lentils, peas, and beans. Removing the skin before cooking is the safest way to prepare your vegetables. [2]

c. Meats, Fish, and Poultry

When it comes to eating meat, it can be tough to digest properly. You can avoid these issues by chewing well, eating ground meat, blending meat before consumption, or cutting the meat into small pieces and mixing it with broth. 

High-fat meats can increase stomach discomfort because they take longer to digest. [4] You may want to avoid flavor-rich and highly processed meats like:

  • Bacon, sausage, and salami
  • Hot dogs, goose liver, and canned beef
  • Organ meats, canned fish, ribs
  • Fibrous meats such as steaks, roasts, and chops [2]

The following meats and animal products are generally easier to digest for motility patients:

  • Lean beef, pork, fish, veal, and lamb
  • Eggs, especially egg whites
  • Poultry with the skin removed [2]

an egg on a red background.  width=

d. Motility-friendly Drinks

Drinks containing alcohol tend to make you feel full and bloated, as do sugary or carbonated beverages. When possible, opt for tea instead. Peppermint, fennel, lemongrass, and ginger tea have been found to improve digestive health and benefit those with IBS. But when in doubt, choose water. Water is a natural digestive aid and can help keep your digestive tract flexible and healthy. Ask your doctor about how much water you should drink daily. [5]

Keeping a Food Journal

If you want to find out your stomach triggers you can record what you are eating, how much you are eating, and when you eat your meals. Everyone is different, and what benefits one person may worsen symptoms for another. Aim to be specific in your food journal, noting not just the type of food but how it is prepared. Jotting down the time you eat can help identify habits that harm your gut health, such as whether you have a late-night snacking habit. [6]

At the end of the day, finding a diet that works for your motility disorder is a journey. It takes time to find out your triggers, and what worsens your symptoms may change as different factors change. But finding a diet that works can significantly reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life, so don’t give up! Work with your doctor to find the best diet to go along with your motility disorder medications

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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