Gastroparesis is a digestive disorder, evidenced by bloating, which is caused by the inability of your stomach to churn and move foodstuff into your small intestine. The lack of mobility is not because of an obstruction, but abnormal muscle contractions.
With gastroparesis, your stomach muscle is paralyzed. Cause of this paralysis is a health condition affecting the muscle itself or the nerves controlling it, typically the vagus nerve. Diabetes being the most common instigator.
Symptoms of stomach paralysis gastroparesis include:
- early satiety
- appetite loss
- prompt fullness
- nausea & vomiting
- abdominal distention
- gastroesophageal reflux
- unintentional weight loss
- upper stomach pain, spasms
- fluctuating blood glucose levels
These bloating symptoms of gastroparesis usually occur after ingestion of solid foods. And recurrent vomiting may further cause:
Diabetic gastroparesis can cause serious complications due to uncontrollable blood sugar.
There are other health related causes beyond diabetes for the bloat of gastroparesis, specifically and generally:
- Parkinson’s disease
- upper intestinal tract surgery injuring vagus nerve
- cancer treatments ~ chemotherapy, radiation over chest, abdomen
- metabolic, endocrine, autoimmune, neuromuscular, connective tissue disorders
Sometimes, otherwise healthy individuals may develop gastroparesis after experiencing viral gastroenteritis.
Some medications can impair stomach emptying by slowing intestinal muscle contractions as well, like:
- some antidepressants
- calcium channel blockers
- antacids containing aluminum hydroxide
Treatment for gastroparesis digestive disorder starts with adjusting your diet. Eating smaller meals and soft foods help relieve some of its cause for bloat symptoms. Avoiding high fat and fiber foods is recommended to prevent a bezoar from getting in the way.
And if your stomach paralysis is severe, a liquid or puree diet may be your only menu choice. Yep, you can live a healthy life even when all your food is sucked through a straw.
Other forms of treatment for gastroparetic digestive paralysis involve:
- feeding tube
- parenteral nutrition
- electrical stimulation
- botox injection in pylorus
- drugs ~ metoclopramide, domperidone, erythromycin, cisapride
Medications for gastroparesis may cause undesirable side effects and have limited effectiveness.
Additionally, supplemental nutritional drinks may lend support for staving off malnutrition.