Gastroparesis

What gastroparesis means?

Gastroparesis (Also called delayed gastric emptying) is a long-term (chronic) condition where the stomach cannot empty in the normal way. Food passes through the stomach slower than usual. It’s thought to be the result of a problem with the nerves and muscles that control how the stomach empties.

Gastroparesis symptoms

The most common symptoms of gastroparesis include feeling full from small amounts of food, nausea, vomiting, reduced appetite, abdominal pain, heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and regurgitation. These symptoms can lead to weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. Other symptoms include bloating, muscle weakness, and night sweats. Since the digestive system doesn’t work smoothly, those with the condition also experience periods of low blood sugar while the food remains in the stomach, and high blood sugar when it eventually reaches the intestines.

Sometimes, more severe complications can occur due to delayed gastric emptying. Individuals can experience obstructions caused by masses of solid hardened food (bezoars). 

If excessive vomiting is a symptom, it can cause its own set of complications, including dehydration and malnutrition. 

What are the main causes of gastroparesis?

The exact cause of gastroparesis is not yet known, but it is thought to have something to do with disrupted nerve signals in the stomach. It is believed that the pneumogastric nerve, which controls the movement of food through the digestive tract, becomes damaged and causes food to be digested slowly or not at all.

Other causes of gastroparesis include:

  • Viral infections.
  • Gastric (abdominal) surgery with injury to the vagus nerve.
  • Medications such as narcotics and some antidepressants.
  • Amyloidosis (deposits of protein fibers in tissues and organs) and scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder that affects the skin, blood vessels, skeletal muscles and internal organs).

What are the stages of gastroparesis?

Grade 1, or mild gastroparesis, is characterized by symptoms that come and go and can easily be controlled by dietary modification and by avoiding medications that slow gastric emptying.

Grade 2, or compensated gastroparesis, is characterized by moderately severe symptoms.

What foods should you avoid if you have gastroparesis?

To reduce the symptoms you must avoid:

  • Raw and dried fruits (such as apples, berries, coconuts, figs, oranges, and persimmons)
  • Raw vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts, corn, green beans, lettuce, potato skins, and sauerkraut)
  • Whole-grain cereal.
  • Nuts and seeds (including chunky nut butters and popcorn)

Gastroparesis enrolling trial

Gastroparesis bowel movements

The delayed stomach emptying and reduced digestive motility associated with gastroparesis can have a significant impact on bowel function. Just as changes in bowel motility can lead to things like diarrhea and constipation, so also changes in stomach motility can cause a number of symptoms: nausea. vomiting.

Does gastroparesis go away?

Gastroparesis is a chronic (long-lasting) condition. This means that treatment usually doesn’t cure the disease, but you can manage it and keep it under control. 

One of the best ways to help control the symptoms of gastroparesis is to change your daily eating habits.

Another important factor is the texture of food; liquids and low residue are encouraged (for example, you should eat applesauce instead of whole apples with intact skins).

You should also avoid foods that are high in fat (which can slow down digestion) and fiber (which is difficult to digest).

Gastroparesis treatment

Treatment of gastroparesis depends on the severity of the person’s symptoms. In most cases, treatment does not cure gastroparesis. Treatment helps people manage the condition so they can be as comfortable and active as possible.

Treatment will focus on treating any underlying problem that is causing it and controlling your symptoms.

Changing eating habits can sometimes help control the severity of gastroparesis symptoms.

Several prescription medications are available to treat gastroparesis, so your doctor may use a combination of medications to find the most effective treatment.

With which doctor is gastroparesis treated?

A gastroenterologist is the specialist who performs the initial evaluation.

Where is gastroparesis pain located?

Gastroparesis causes a sharp stabbing pain related to intestinal cramps and cramps in the upper part of the stomach caused by the inability to relax and «settle» the food just eaten.

Gastroparesis life expectancy

Gastroparesis is a serious condition that significantly affects quality of life.

The hope of life of a person suffering from gastroparesis is dependent on the stage of the gastroparesis. 

The milder cases have a good expectation of life, but in the more serious cases that it complicates the feeding tube, the life expectancy may be reduced. 

However, for many people, gastroparesis is a lifelong condition.

Gastroparesis enrolling trial

How gastroparesis affect diabetes

Gastroparesis can worsen diabetes by making it more difficult to control blood glucose. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels risGastroparesis makes stomach emptying unpredictable and this can worsen diabetes by making it more difficult to control blood glucose.

When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise.

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