5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with Gastroparesis

The holidays can be a difficult time when you have a digestive disorder like gastroparesis. Many of the festivities are centered around food and depending on the severity of your symptoms, you many not be able to partake. With a little bit of preparation you can reduce your chances of feeling symptomatic and enjoy your time with friends and family. Here are some things to consider:

1. Eat a normal breakfast.

pb banana toast

It might be tempting to skip breakfast all together to save room for the big meal, but this usually backfires. It is likely that you will get to lunch time and be so hungry that you overeat to the point where you are uncomfortable. Instead, eat what you would normally eat for breakfast.

2. Wear comfy clothes.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get bloated at some point of every day. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to unbutton my pants after a meal because I was too full. This isn’t so bad if you are at home, but if you are out at a party or spending time with family, you probably want to be buttoned up. Instead, choose a flowy top with leggings or a comfortable dress that will allow your belly to expand if needed.

3. Bring your own food. 

gluten free stuffing

There is nothing worse than going somewhere and not having any food that you can eat. You can contact the host and explain your dietary restrictions if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, you can bring your own dish that you can share (for example, you could bring Aleia’s stuffing which is gluten and dairy free!). It is also a good idea to pack GP-friendly snacks just in case you feel hungry later in the day.

4. Pack your emergency kit.

gastroparesis kit

Remember the emergency kit from a couple weeks ago? Make sure to bring it with you! During the holidays, many stores close or have limited hours so you don’t want to be stuck without your medications and other belly remedies if you end up feeling sick.

5. Get moving.

winter walk

If your family is anything like mine, after eating we spend the rest of the day watching TV, chatting, or playing games. Instead, try to get up and walk around. If it isn’t too cold outside, grab a family member and get out for a walk. If the weather isn’t cooperating, try to walk around the house. Even just a little bit of movement can help stimulate digestion.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with happiness and joy!


Questions of the day:

What are your holiday plans? What tips do you have for surviving the holidays with gastroparesis?

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