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Gastroparesis: Points to Remember

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 18, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • It occurs when the stomach takes too long to empty its contents.
  • The exact cause of gastroparesis is not known yet.
  • The goal of the treatment is to manage the blood glucose levels as much as possible.
  • Gastroparesis can make diabetes worse.

More

Gastroparesis is condition which occurs when the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Thereby it is also known as the delayed gastric emptying. The movement of the food through the digestive tract is controlled by the vagus nerve. The muscles of stomach and intestines don’t work normally when the vagus is damaged or it stops working.

Gastroparesis

Causes of Gastroparesis

The exact cause of gastroparesis is not known yet, but it is believed that disrupted nerve signals in the stomach have something to do with it. The damage to the vagus nerve leads to gastroparesis. The most common cause that damages the vague is diabetes. The way by which the vague nerve gets its nutrient is changed by the high blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

Heartburn
Nausea   
Vomiting of undigested food
Early feeling of fullness while eating
Weight loss
Abdominal bloating
Erratic blood glucose levels
Lack of appetite
Gastroesophageal reflux

Treatment

How is it treated

the goal of the treatment is to manage the blood glucose levels as much as possible. The treatment includes insulin, oral medications and changes in the lifestyle.

Complications

Gastroparesis can make diabetes worse and it becomes more difficult to manage blood glucose. When the delayed food finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels tend to rise.
If food stays too long in the stomach, the chances of bacterial overgrowth increase because the food has fermented. Also, the food can harden into solid masses called bezoars that may cause nausea, vomiting, and obstruction in the stomach. Bezoars can be dangerous at times when they block the passage of food into the small intestine.

 

Image Courtesy : Getty


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