Indy Gastro | Colonoscopy, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, constipation, endoscopy

Gastroparesis

How the stomach works

The stomach functions as a reservoir. It is a large, hollow organ and holds the food we eat. It secretes acid and some digestive enzymes that help begin the processes of digestion. It also acts as a churn to mix up food so that when the food is released through the valve at the end of the stomach (called the pylorus), it is in a liquid or semi-liquid form ready to be digested and absorbed by the small intestine.

Definition

Gastro-paresis" means "Stomach-Paralysis" or inability to sense and move normally.

Causes

  1. Diabetes
  2. Scaring from ulcers and tumors
  3. Certain drugs
  4. Previous stomach surgery
  5. anorexia and bulimia
  6. neurologic or brain disorders
  7. lupus, scleroderma and poor blood supply to stomach
  8. idiopathic

Symptoms

The most common symptoms are a full feeling after eating only a small amount, bloating, regurgitation, nausea and vomiting especially after eating.

Diagnosis

Since gastroparesis is an abnormality of the stomach function without any obstruction. X-ray and endoscopy are usually normal. Tests that are looking at the function of the stomach are in order. Some of these tests include: a barium x-ray of the upper stomach, a gastric emptying study, blood tests and gastric manometry.

Treatment

  1. Diet: Changing your eating habits can help control gastroparesis. Your doctor or dietitian will give you specific instructions, but you may be asked to eat six small meals a day instead of three large ones. If less food enters the stomach each time you eat, it may not become overly full. Or the doctor or dietitian may suggest that you try several liquid meals a day until your blood glucose levels are stable and the gastroparesis is corrected. Liquid meals provide all the nutrients found in solid foods, but can pass through the stomach more easily and quickly. (please have link to gastroparesis diet)
  2. Medications: There are medications that can be taken to help speed up the stomach emptying. There may be a need to have medication for nausea control.

Summary

Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach empties slower than normal. This can leave a feeling of fullness in the stomach. There are diets and medications that can help relieve the symptoms.

Organizations

  1. American Gastroenterological Association - www.gastro.com
  2. American College of Gastroenterology - www.acg.gi.org

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