- 1 What is Gastroparesis?
- 2 Causes of Gastroparesis
- 3 Symptoms of Gastroparesis
- 4 Treatments for Gastroparesis
- 5 Tips for Managing Gastroparesis and Improving Health
What is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is an incurable digestive disorder that can cause significant problems with digestion. It is a condition in which the stomach takes longer to empty its contents than normal, resulting in food remaining in the stomach for too long — often longer than seven hours. This can lead to nausea, vomiting, pain, bloating, early satiety, and weight loss. Gastroparesis can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to enjoy daily activities.
Causes of Gastroparesis
The causes of gastroparesis vary, but the most common type is diabetic gastroparesis, which is caused by nerve damage that can develop as a result of diabetes. Other causes of gastroparesis include certain medications, viral infections, thyroid disorders, and other forms of nerve damage.
Symptoms of Gastroparesis
The primary symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- Nausea: Some patients may have persistent nausea or feel full after eating only a small amount.
- Vomiting: Food that is not properly digested can be vomited up.
- Pain: Abdominal pain, bloating and cramps can also be a result of gastroparesis.
- Weight Loss: Gastroparesis can lead to significant weight loss, as the body is not able to process food properly.
Treatments for Gastroparesis
The treatments for gastroparesis vary depending on the underlying cause and the individual’s specific needs. Common treatments include dietary changes and medications such as prokinetics and antiemetics to help reduce symptoms. Other treatments may include nerve stimulation, gastric electrical stimulation, or, in extreme cases, surgery to remove parts of the stomach.
Tips for Managing Gastroparesis and Improving Health
Eat Small Meals
Eating small, more frequent meals can help stimulate stomach emptying and reduce nausea and vomiting.
Avoid High-Fat and High-Fiber Foods
High-fat and high-fiber foods can slow digestion and worsen symptoms, so try to avoid them as much as possible.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Staying hydrated is important for managing gastroparesis and improving overall health.
Avoid Binge Eating
Binge eating can overwhelm the stomach and can worsen feelings of bloating and fullness.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can stimulate stomach contractions and exacerbate symptoms, so it’s best to limit them as much as possible.
Get Regular Exercise
Regular physical activity can improve overall health and help symptoms of gastroparesis.
Overall, gastroparesis can be a difficult condition to manage, but there are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help. Working with a doctor and dietitian can help you find the best treatment plan for managing symptoms and improving long-term health.