Gastroparesis is a medical condition that impacts passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine. It occurs when the stomach's normally occurring contractions fail to work properly. It is also known as gastric paralysis.
Stomach contractions assist in the passage of partly digested food from the stomach to the small intestine. Further digestion and nutrient absorption takes place here. For those suffering with gastroparesis, this process does not function properly, affecting the condition of the empty stomach. The condition may include nausea, vomiting, blood sugar fluctuations, and poor nutrition.
Symptoms of Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis often causes many nonspecific symptoms. A gastroenterologist needs to make a diagnosis. Common symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain
- A feeling of fullness after eating just a few bites
- Changes in blood sugar levels
- Lack of appetite
- Acid reflux
- Weight loss and malnutrition
When to see a doctor?
If the situation worsens and the symptoms of gastroparesis become more severe, you must visit a doctor immediately. Get the best treatment for Gastroparesis from our Gastroenterologists and doctors at Medicover Hospitals.
Get the best treatment for Gastroparesis from our Gastroenterologist, at Medicover Hospitals.
The actual causes of gastroparesis have not yet been fully determined; however, in some cases, it can be caused by damage to a nerve that controls the stomach muscles (vagus nerve). The vagus nerve controls the complicated activities in the digestive system, such as instructing stomach muscles to contract and push food into the small intestine. Food may stay in the stomach for a longer duration rather than moving into the small intestine for absorption. Diseases such as diabetes, as well as surgery to the stomach and small intestine, can cause damage to the vagus nerve and its branches.
Risk increases with:
- Abdominal or oesophagal surgery
- Certain medications, including some antidepressants and narcotics
- Nervous system disorders, like MS or Parkinson’s.
- Women are more prone than men to develop gastroparesis
Gastroparesis can have a negative impact on your health and decrease the overall quality of life. Complications may include the following:
This may lead to severe dehydration, which can even be fatal
You may have reduced appetite or vomiting that prevents you from receiving adequate nutrients
Fermation of food in the stomach
Foods that remain in the stomach for too long can ferment, causing germs to develop
Formation of Bezoars
These are solid masses that may be formed in the stomach due to undigested food
Complications can induce nausea and vomiting, and if they block the passage between the stomach and small intestine, these can be fatal as well
Abnormal blood sugar levels
This may prevent you from absorbing enough nutrients
Several factors affect our overall health and wellbeing. Apart from adopting good lifestyle choices, having gastroparesis will most likely push patients to be alert for what assists, harms, and works best for them. It's not always be easy, but seeking medical attention can help individuals enhance their overall health. Preventative measures can help you relieve symptoms, reduce the negative consequences, and improve your overall health. One may be able to reduce their risk of gastroparesis by following the below mentioned points:
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control, especially if you have diabetes
- Effective treatment of other illnesses associated with gastroparesis
- Avoiding smoking and other nicotine-containing products
- Discussing the negative effects of the medications with the doctor
Your doctor will inquire about the symptoms and medical history. They will also conduct a physical examination. They may order tests such as:
Radioisotope stomach-emptying scan (gastric scintigraphy)
The doctor will give you food infused with a small amount of radiation. You will be asked to lie down in front of a scanning machine. If after 4 hours of eating, more than 10% of food is still in your stomach, it will determine that you have gastroparesis.
Detect dehydration, malnutrition, infection, and blood sugar issues.
You will be given a liquid (barium) to swallow, which will cover your oesophagus, stomach, and small intestine and appear on an X-ray. This is also part of an upper GI (gastrointestinal) series.
It is a procedure in which the doctor inserts a tiny tube into the mouth and the stomach to measure electrical and muscle activity and the rate at which people digest.
It uses electrodes on the skin to assess the stomach's electrical activity.
Employs sound waves to create images of the organs. The doctor may use it to rule out other conditions.
The first step in gastroparesis treatment is identifying and addressing the underlying cause. If gastroparesis is caused by diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels is typically the initial step in treating gastroparesis patients.
Gastroparesis treatment diet
It consists of eating small nutritious meals. Including foods low in fibre and fat, easily digestable food and well-cooked vegetables. You must avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol. Drinking lots of water and liquids such as fruit and vegetable juices will help manage your condition.
Natural therapy for gastroparesis
It includes consuming probiotics, yoghurt, liquid nutritional supplements, and avoiding constipation. Ginger is a classic natural nausea remedy. Acupuncture and deep relaxation techniques have been known to alleviate the symptoms of gastroparesis.
Medication for gastroparesis
Promethazine and Metoclopramide are used to relieve nausea and vomiting. Erythromycin, an antibiotic, also helps the stomach muscles to contract and drive food out of the stomach.
Gastroparesis pain relief
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and tricyclic antidepressant medications may help relieve gastroparesis.
Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol
In your daily routine, including modest physical exercises such as walking after eating, and avoiding lying down within three hours of consuming food may show some improvement.
Nutrients are delivered directly into the circulation via a catheter inserted into a vein.
Bypassing the stomach, a tube is introduced into the small intestine through the abdomen. This provides nutrition straight to the small intestine.
Electrical gastric stimulation
This therapy uses electric pulses to stimulate the nerves and soothes stomach muscles to increase contractions.
While partial or total gastrectomy may temporarily relieve certain symptoms of gastroparesis, it has serious long-term consequences.
Lifestyle changes and self-care
Lifestyle changes include:
- Consuming cooked vegetables over raw vegetables
- Chewing food thoroughly
- Avoiding high-fiber foods and fruits, such as broccoli and oranges
- Avoiding consumption of greasy meals as these can slow down digestion
- Consuming smaller meals. (Instead of three meals each day, eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day)
- If fluids are easier to swallow, soften the meals or consume soup
- Drinking lots of water on a daily basis (1 to 1.5 litres)
- Walking after consuming meals
- Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and carbonated beverages
- Trying not to sleep after 2 hours of eating
- Taking a multivitamin every day
Dos and Don’ts
For those suffering from gastroparesis, the stomach does not drain as fast as it should. The doctor may refer to this as delayed gastric emptying. It can make you feel ill or even vomit. After eating a tiny amount of food, the stomach may ache or appear quite full. This might make it difficult to eat adequate calories, vitamins, and minerals. Following the below mentioned dos and don'ts can help you avoid the negative consequences of gastroparesis:
|Avoid or reduce alcohol and smoking||Eat high starchy & greasy or fried foods|
|Engage in regular physical activity||Drink soda drinks|
|Keep yourself hydrated||Drink alcoholic beverages|
|Eat frequent, small meals that are low in fat and fibre||Lay down immediately after eating food|
|Take the medicines as prescribed by the doctor||Discontinue medicines without completing the dosage|
Precautions and self-care will help you fight this condition positively and improve your quality of life.
Gastroparesis Care at Medicover Hospitals
At Medicover, we have the best team of gastroenterologists and surgeons who work together to provide Gastroparesis disease treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilises the latest medical equipment, diagnostic procedures and technologies to treat various Gastroparesis conditions and ailments. For treating Gastroparesis, we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to provide comprehensive care to the patients and attend to all their medical needs for faster and sustained recovery.