How to Increase Slow Digestion

Slow digestion can cause nausea, bloating, vomiting and stomach pain.

Slow digestion can cause nausea, bloating, vomiting and stomach pain.

Gastroparesis, or delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder that causes slow digestion. With slow digestion, your stomach muscles do not work properly and food can get stuck in the stomach. In normal digestion, your stomach muscles break up food and move it to the gastrointestinal tract, allowing for further digestion of food. In many cases, your doctor may not know what is causing your slow digestion; however, there are some lifestyle changes that can help you increase your slow digestion.

Eat six smaller meals throughout your day instead of eating two to three large ones to speed up digestion. Eating less food at one time prevents the stomach from becoming overly full. This allows your stomach to have an easier time emptying.

Drink water or other noncarbonated beverages along with each meal. This will help soften the food and make it easier for your stomach muscles to break down food particles.

Avoid high-fiber or high-fat food. Your body takes longer to digest high-fat foods and foods high in fiber can be altogether difficult to digest.

Choose soft food or liquids, such as soups or smoothies, to aid digestion. You may also want to supplement your diet with nutritional drinks to ensure that you are getting your necessary nutrients.

Walk or sit after eating to help your digestion. Avoid lying down for at least 2 hours after eating to support gastric emptying.

Take any prescribed medication. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help stimulate the stomach muscles or to relieve nausea associated with gastroparesis.


  • Consult your physician for specific treatment recommendations for slow digestion.

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About the Author

Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.

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