Six Signs You May Have Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis sounds like a long and scary word. In laymen's terms, it's a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion, using the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food from the stomach through the digestive tract.
Gastroparesis happens when the vagus nerve is damaged, and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. So, if your stomach has been feeling sluggish, read on for some common gastroparesis symptoms.
Are you diabetic? It doesn't seem fair to add yet another ailment to your list when you're already dealing with diabetes, but unfortunately the most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes. Why? People with diabetes have high blood glucose, or blood sugar, which in turn causes chemical changes in nerves, and damages the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Over time, high blood glucose can damage the vagus nerve.
- Do you have heartburn or pain in your upper abdomen?
- Are you nauseous after eating a meal?
- Do you vomit up undigested food—sometimes several hours after a meal?
- Do you have an early feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food?
These are all signs you may have gastroparesis, as if the meal you've just devoured is at a stomach standstill, it can easily come back up.
- Are you experiencing unexpected weight loss? This could be due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake, common side affects of gastroparesis.
- Other common symptoms to take note of are abdominal bloating, a lack of appetite and gastroesophageal reflux.
Keep in mind that the symptoms of gastroparesis may be mild or severe, depending on the person. Many people with gastroparesis experience a wide range of symptoms, which makes the disorder difficult for a physician to diagnose. If you're experiencing any of the above warning signs, the best strategy is to keep a food diary with a detailed list of symptoms that arise after certain meals have been ingested. Once you have some documentation to show your doctor, schedule an appointment.
As far as easing the suffering goes, the treatment of gastroparesis depends on the severity of the symptoms. Treatment helps you manage the condition so you can be as healthy and comfortable as possible. In most cases, treatment does not cure gastroparesis.
A common medication prescribed in many countries for gastroparesis is prescription Motilium, or its cheaper form, generic domperidone. The FDA has not approved prescription domperidone for sale in the United States, but you can buy domperidone online through a licensed Canadian pharmacy with a valid doctor's prescription. With any health uncertainties, the key to finding answers is to listen to your body and then report your findings to a trusted doctor.
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