Supplements

Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation for Gastroparesis Management*

Please remember that when introducing new supplements it’s important to try ONE at a time.  Wait at least three days, keeping track of any new or changing symptoms, before introducing the next product. This is the only way to determine exactly what does – and doesn’t – work for you.

There are a wide variety of manufacturers and formulations for each vitamin/mineral listed.  It may be necessary to experiment in order to find the one that’s best for you.  Keep in mind that chewable, sublingual and liquid formulations are often better tolerated than tablets.  You may need to start with a smaller dose than recommended — some is better than none.

ESSENTIAL

Multi-Vitamin/Mineral – Supports Overall Health & Nutrition

  • Helps to fill in the nutritional gaps of a typical gastroparesis-friendly diet.
  • Formulation should contain: vitamins A, C, D, & E; niacin; folic acid; B6; B12; pantothenic acid; thiamin, riboflavin; calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
  • Children’s chewable tablets or gummy vitamins are often well-tolerated. Look for a product that does not contain artificial dyes, sweeteners or flavors.
  • Take with meals to prevent/minimize stomach upset and aid in absorption.
  • Note: formulations containing iron may exacerbate constipation.  Men and post-menopausal women are unlikely to need supplemental iron.

RECOMMENDED

Vitamin D – Supports immune function; Necessary for calcium absorption

  • Fat soluble à must be taken with a meal containing dietary fat for proper absorption.
  • Look for a supplement containing Vitamin D3.  Vitamin D2, found in many D-fortified food products, is not well-absorbed and is minimally effective.
  • Typical dosage: 1,000-2,000 IU per day, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • A 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D blood test is recommended to determine your current level of Vitamin D.

Vitamin B-12 – Essential for proper nerve function

  • Primary dietary source is animal foods; vegetarian diets are deficient in Vitamin B12.
  • Impaired absorption and/or depletion is common in those who use acid suppressing drugs, including H-2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors, or those who take Metformin for type 2 diabetes.
  • Deficiency symptoms include: fatigue, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, heart palpitations, bleeding gums and mouth sores, nausea, poor appetite and diarrhea.
  • Available via injection from your doctor or as sublingual tablets.
  • Typical dosage:  25-100 mcg/day

Magnesium – Essential for proper functioning of nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems; Natural laxative

  • Deficiency symptoms include: anxiety, insomnia, irritability, muscle weakness or cramping, Restless Leg Syndrome, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Avoid magnesium oxide, which is not well absorbed.  Magnesium citrate and magnesium gluconate are well absorbed and readily available.
  • Typical dosage: 200-400 mg per day; if your stools become loose, decrease dosage.   Those who take a calcium supplement should take half as much magnesium as they take calcium in order to prevent constipation.
  • Note:  if constipation is an issue, doses as high 1,000 mg are considered safe and may help to regulate bowel movements.

 

*This does not constitute medical advice.  Please consult your doctor for specific recommendations.