Gastroparesis, also known as delayed emptying of the stomach, is a chronic condition that can be treated, but not cured. While doctors cannot specifically pinpoint the cause, patients all have conditions or experiences that can cause nerve damage. The majority of gastroparesis patients have diabetes. Unregulated blood sugar can cause nerve damage. Other conditions that may contribute are multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s disease, and abdominal surgeries.
The damaged nerve causes the digestive system to not function properly and prevents food from moving through the digestive process properly. This reduces your stomach’s ability to empty itself and absorb nutrients. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting undigested food,no appetite, heartburn, bloating, and weight loss. People with gastroparesis experience high levels of discomfort, so if you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, you should make an appointment with Dr. Islam.
The doctor will order tests to confirm the diagnosis, these can include an upper GI, GI X-rays, ultrasound, capsule endoscopy, breath test, and/or gastric emptying scintigraphy. Once the diagnosis is made the doctor will help you manage the symptoms. Treatment will likely include prescription anti-nausea medications, which also help to increase your appetite. There are also medications that can help the stomach to contract. The contractions help to push the food out of the stomach. Dietary changes are also recommended.