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Gastroparesis – Delay in Emptying The Stomach

Gastroparesis refers to the delay in emptying the stomach. Normally, contract your abdominal muscles to push food together, and pylorus (the door that leads into the small intestine) relaxes the food to pass into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). A large nerve called the vagus nerve is responsible for controlling the movement of food from the stomach through the gastro-intestinal tract.

Gastroparesis refers to the delay in emptying the stomach.  Normally, contract your abdominal muscles to push food together, and pylorus (the door that leads into the small intestine) relaxes the food to pass into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine).  A large nerve called the vagus nerve is responsible for controlling the movement of food from the stomach through the gastro-intestinal tract.

What causes gastroparesis?
Any condition that damages the optic nerve can lead to delayed gastric emptying.  The most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes mellitus.  Chronic severe damage to blood vessels and nerves, the vagus nerve that is often affected.

Other causes of gastroparesis include:
• Damage to the vagus nerve in the abdominal surgery
• Fibromyalgia
• Parkinson’s disease
• Acute illness of any kind that causes transient gastroparesis
• cons cancer drugs that affect gastric emptying

What are the symptoms of gastroparesis?
Symptoms may vary depending on the type and severity.  Some are affected by eating solid food, high fiber foods, fatty foods or large meals.  Others may develop symptoms, no matter what they eat, although some foods tend to aggravate symptoms.

Symptoms commonly occurring are:
• satiety without eating much
• abdominal bloating
• Feeling that food is not digested
• Heartburn
• Nausea
• vomiting of undigested food.  This may take several hours after a meal.
• Lack of appetite
• Weight Loss
• pain in upper abdomen

How is it diagnosed?
After taking a medical history and perform a physical examination, your doctor may order inquiries.

Blood tests for diabetes, electrolyte disturbances, signs of infection as the cause of gastroparesis

Ultrasound to remove gall bladder disease as a cause of symptoms

Other tests: barium meal, gastric emptying scintigraphy, breath test, smart pill ®

How is gastroparesis?
Treatment is usually symptomatic gastroparesis tend to be a chronic condition.  The factors that have led to, or can worsen gastroparesis also be addressed.  For example, diabetes can be well controlled to prevent or delay the achievement of the vagus nerve.

The following medications are often used to treat the symptoms of gastroparesis:
• metoclopramide (Maxolon)
• Domperidone (Motilium)

Lifestyle and dietary changes:
• Eat smaller, more frequent
• Avoid foods high in fiber and fat
• Eat more sweet, easily digestible food

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