12 Ways to Help a Nauseous or Unhappy EDS Stomach
by Yvette Thomas
If you have Gastrointestinal problems that frequently accompany EDS, here are some helpful suggestions from an EDS Support Group member. (Always consult your doctor first.)
1. Small meals always.
Try not to go a long time in between eating. Always carry a little snack with you. Something protein-based like string cheese or nuts. NEVER junk carbs like chips or crackers. Fruits like apples, bananas, or dried fruits aren’t ideal, but they’re much better than junky carbs. Try to eat your fruits alone, not combining with other categories of foods. Fruits digest quickly and may cause stomach issues or poor digestion if not eaten alone. Allow stomach to rest at least 20 min. before and after fruits.
2. Make sure there’s protein on the plate.
Avoid large plates of just carbs, such as pasta or white potatoes. Protein includes foods like meat, eggs, nuts and beans. Beans, rice and thai peanut noodles count as protein. Rice is a complex carbohydrate and also has protein in it. Rice protein, when compared to that of other grains, is often considered one of the highest quality proteins. It is also very easy to digest. Almonds are a healthy protein and easy to take when you’re on the go.
3. Probiotics are crucial for good intestinal flora -which means better digestion and better immune system support. Taking probiotics in the pill form is more potent and effective than yogurt alone.
4. If you know your day is going to be busy, keep your meals light but energy dense. Don’t try to eat a big meal for ‘energy.’ The opposite will happen.
Consider protein shakes. You can buy shakes or smoothies from Starbucks or a juice bar that have extra protein blended in. : I prefer making them homemade in a blender. I like having a smoothie with protein powder for breakfast. I like to use a low sugar plant-based protein powder. I blend it with a non-dairy milk & some baby spinach and, to me, it is still sweet enough not to taste objectionable.
5. A little caffeine can be good idea with a heavy meal (if your body tolerates caffeine). Nothing too crazy. Something like iced or hot tea. I always have my biggest meal of the day in the morning, together with a cup of coffee.
6. Limit alcohol to one cup/glass/shot, if drinking with a meal.
Alcohol diverts blood away from the GI tract where it should be working on digesting the meal you’re eating. Better yet, don’t eat and drink at the same time, or avoid alcohol altogether.
7. Avoid eating a heavy meal in the evening. Save heavier meals for earlier in the day.
Your stomach will be full of other food it’s still digesting. It won’t have the energy to deal with a large meal and will probably give up and might vomit everything back up in defeat.
8. No meal should be large, but lunch should probably be the largest meal of the day. Dinner should be the smallest – smaller even than breakfast.
9. If you know you’re going to be drinking. Eat less.
10. If you know you’re going to be exercising. Eat less.
11. If you know you’re going to be working late. Eat less.
12. This goes against all good sense. But, by “less” – I mean smaller in size. What you do eat should be full of calories. Don’t eat whole meals on those days. Just graze on high calorie foods.
Examples of high calorie or high-protein foods are: protein shakes, nuts, soy milk and cheese. If you avoid soy and dairy – you might consider almond, rice or coconut milk. Coconut milk is my favorite – it has a creamy texture and you can get it in vanilla flavored which tastes a little sweet. Google on the health benefits of coconut oil, milk and coconut flour. these are good for your metabolism, weight loss and many other things. Coconut flour is high in fiber and can be blended into smoothies, or used as a substitution for a small percentage of regular flour when you bake. Coconut oil is fabulous for cooking, just like you would use olive oil. it has a Crisco-like texture until melted. Coconut is a super healthy fat.
I hope these tips help you manage your unhappy EDS stomach!