FAQ - Gastroparesis
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gastroparesis?


Hi there. My primary doctor told me today that I might have gastroparesis. I've had bloating/constipation and reflux. Since it takes a long time before I have any bowel, she thinks I might have gastroparesis that has been causing the refluxing, etc. What are the tests that one needs to undergo to find out if they have gastroparesis? Also, is it possible to have delayed gastric emptying without it being gastroparesis? Thanks in advance! friendlygal
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This condition is most commonly found in people with both types of Diabetes.

Other causes are:

Postviral syndromes
Anorexia nervosa
Surgery on the stomach or vagus nerve
Medications, particularly anticholinergics and narcotics (drugs that slow contractions in the intestine)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (rarely)
Smooth muscle disorders such as amyloidosis and scleroderma
Nervous system diseases, including abdominal migraine and Parkinson's disease
Metabolic disorders, including hypothyroidism
Connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
Idiopathic, the cause of the gastroparesis cannot be determined

The diagnosis of gastroparesis is confirmed through one or more of the following diagnosic tests:

1.A GET, or gastric emptying test, is commonly used to diagnose gastroparesis. Using a method called scintigraphy a gamma emmiting radioisotope is integrated into a selected food item, often scrambled eggs. Multi-centre clinical trials have established international standards for this test. The meal is eaten and images, utilizing a gamma camera, are taken of the stomach over a period from 2-4 hours.

2. Barium x-ray . May be perfored to look for any structral abnormalities within the stomach and upper gastrointestinal tract. After fasting for 12 hours, you will drink a thick liquid called barium, which coats the inside of the stomach, making it show up on the x ray. Normally, the stomach will be empty of all food after 12 hours of fasting. If the x ray shows food in the stomach, gastroparesis is likely. If the x ray shows an empty stomach but the doctor still suspects that you have delayed emptying, you may need to repeat the test another day. On any one day, a person with gastroparesis may digest a meal normally, giving a falsely normal test result. If you have diabetes, your doctor may have special instructions about fasting.

3. Antral duodenal manometry (also know as motility testing) is a means by which the pressure from peristaltic action inside the digestive tract can be measured. A thin tube is passed down the throat. While manometry is commonly performed on the esophagus, very few centers provide this test on the stomach and small bowel. When this test is performed on the stomach, it helps to reveal the pumping power and capabilities of the lower part of the stomach, or antrum. In gastroparesis, the function of the antrum is frequently found to be weak and inadequate. As well, during studies on the stomach, manometric measures performed on the pylorus may be helpful in demonstrating pyloro-spasm - another common problem found with delayed gastric emptying.

4. Blood tests. The doctor may also order laboratory tests to check blood counts and to measure chemical and electrolyte levels. To rule out causes of gastroparesis other than diabetes, the doctor may do an upper endoscopy or an ultrasound.

5. Upper endoscopy. After giving you a sedative, the doctor passes a long, thin tube called an endoscope through the mouth and gently guides it down the esophagus into the stomach. Through the endoscope, the doctor can look at the lining of the stomach to check for any abnormalities.

6. Ultrasound. To rule out gallbladder disease or pancreatitis as a source of the problem, you may have an ultrasound test, which uses harmless sound waves to outline and define the shape of the gallbladder and pancreas.

In me, I have double jeopardy - I take Topamax (for migraines, but this medication is used to treat for Parkinson's Disease) and I am a Type II Diabetic and have Gastroparesis. The medication either causes Gastroparesis or exacerbates it. Also, you might have your primary care physican prescribe you something for the Gastroesophageal Reflux like Protonix twice a day. I have had most of those tests that I mentioned done to determine the scope of the problem.

I would STRONGLY suguest that you get a qualified gastroenterologist who is a physician who specializies in stomach and bowel issues like these to take you to this next step in your diagnosis and impending treatment. They will work with your primary care doctor in your care.

If you are over 50, you should have him or her do the testing and while you are at it, do a baseline colonoscopy.  (+ info)

Gastroparesis?


My 2.5 year old was just diagnosed with gastroparesis. I know what it is and how it is treated. I am more curious about medications, diet and long-term effects. Does anyone have any experience with this? There isn't much information online about it with young children. I have an appointment with the gastroenterologist in a few days.
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I don't know much about it, but I do know that it can be treated with Domperidone, the drug that some lactating women (including myself) take to increase milk supply. The food doesn't move through the stomach properly. Sometimes due to nerve damage, and everything gets blocks up. The Domperidone causes the stomach to move so that the food keeps moving through.

I can tell you that without having any stomach problems, taking 80mgs of Domperidone a day made my bowel movements incredibly regular. Twice a day like clockwork. Sorry for the TMI.

The FDA has issued warning about problems of this stuff at high dosages, given intravenusly, but the US and other countries had been using it for years to treat gastroparesis with no problems, and there have been no problems reported amonst lactating women as well. It is still legal for your doctor to write a prescription for it and a compounding pharmacy can produce it for you.

That's obviously just one medication. I am sure there are others out there.

Best of luck to you guys. I hope everything turns out alright for her!  (+ info)

How do you treat your gastroparesis and what works for you?


I've been diagnosed with gastroparesis and will undergo further testing. But, I heard HORRIBLE things about the prescriptions they write. The one I got came with warnings all over about the potential for permanent nerve damage to where you could get facial twitching - forever. So, I was wondering what other people do who suffer from this condition. Does it or can it go away?
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This is not a normal thing and most likely is not genetic. If you eat lots of sugar or high carb foods, this will encourage Candia albicans growth. Candida is famous for subduing the parietal cells found in the stomach lining. When this happens, this affects how the body utilizes hydrochloric acid. If the hydrochorlic acid level is too low, food will be very slow moving into the small intestine. Essentially the pyloric sphincter stays closed until the acidic level in the stomach gets to around 1.5 to 3.0 pH that is very acidic.

If you have ANY scars or traumas on the front of your body, this can cause this same problem. Many times medical professionals are just not aware of these kinds of problems and since they treat symptoms, not root causes of problems, they don't even consider this or look for it.

I would suggest you see a QRA practitioner and get tested because they can tell you right away if this is the situation. It's an easy thing to take care of and is done with natural remedies that work very quickly. I do not suggest solving this problem with drugs or surgery because all drugs damage the body.

good luck to you  (+ info)

What can a gal with gastroparesis do to ease constipation from lack of fiber?


I have recently been diagnosed with postviral gastroparesis. Although I am tolerating the low fat low diet fairly well (oh how I miss fresh veggies and loathe baby food!), I have developed a strong tendency towards constipation. I believe this is due to the "low fiber" part of my diet. I am a little concerned about this because of a strong family history of colon cancer, and fiber is said to help prevent it... What can I eat or take to relieve the constipation?
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Hey, I'm very sorry about your recent diagnosis. I also have gastroparesis. My gastroenterologist recommended Miralax to me. I haven't tried it yet because I haven't had problems with constipation, but it's supposed to be a mild, but effective laxative. I know what you mean about baby food... ugh! I prefer blended up soups now to baby food, except the fruit ones are ok. You should check out the yahoo group for gastroparesis. They offer a lot of support and advice for fellow patients. The link is http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/gastroparesis/. They are a wonderful group and it's a great place to vent when you're having a rough day. Good luck to you.  (+ info)

What is the best diet for patients with gastroparesis?


I was just diagnosed today with gastroparesis and would like to see what diet would be best for me. If you have any adivce, suggestions or recipes that would be great!
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I would think small frequent meals. Not really sure any special diets that they would want you to try. Usually Reglan taken before meals and at bedtime helps too.  (+ info)

What tests do they use to diagnose Gastroparesis?


I need to know what kind of tests do they use to diagnose Gastroparesis because I have had it for 2 years now and am extremely sick all of the time. At the present, I cannot eat anymore solid foods because of being afraid. Please help me.
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Hey - I'm sorry you're sick. I've got gastroparesis, too, and went though PLENTY of tests, so let me see if I can help you out.

Let's see - for me, they caught the gastroparesis on a barium swallow test. That's just a general stomach test - they'll have you swallow first a REALLY effervescent solution or pill (depending on what you can manage) and then x-ray your throat and stomach. They'll ask you to drink about three cups of "barium milkshake" which isn't good but isn't that terrible, either; apparently some people actually like it (ew). If you have gastroparesis this volume will probably make you feel kind of icky - it did for me, but they also let me get away with drinking maybe only half of it. The x-ray is really neat - you get to see your insides, really clearly, moving! All and all I thought the coolness of the x-ray outweighed only moderate unpleasantness of this test.

Then there's one to check your stomach on solid foods, so they'll have you eat an egg salad sandwich made with a radioactive egg. It's not a very big sandwich; for me eating it went okay. Then, over the course of several hours, you lie down under a radioactive sensor, which will measure how much of the sandwich is left in your stomach over time. Easy and painless - just bring something to read!

Last big test I can think of is the endoscopy - I think most people don't remember anything of the actual procedure itself. The worst part of this one I think is the anasthetic they spray in your throat to numb your gag reflex - tastes gross and feels icky at first, but you get used to it. I had this one done under general anasthesia because I can't take the other drugs, and it was totally fine.

Oh, I think they'll also check your pancreas (?) by making you drink 4 cups of water on an empty stomach and then ultrasounding your abdomen. This one's okay, except they're poking around on you when you really got to pee.

They often also want to rule out any other problems through medications - your doctors might want to go through a whole bunch of stomach medications to see if any might help (didn't for me).

Well, I hope that helps! I'm really sorry you're sick - good luck with everything!  (+ info)

Does anyone know a lot about a condition called Gastroparesis?


My mother was recently diagnosed with gastroparesis, paralysis of the stomach. She has not been doing well with it. She has good days and bad days. I have never spoken with someone who knew much about it. Just wondering if there is anyone out there who might.
We know exactly WHAT it is. I was only wondering if there was anyone who has it. I have access to the internet too.
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Check out the yahoo group on gastroparesis, it has like 2000 members.

Yahoo Groups, search for gastroparesis  (+ info)

What natural remedies help with gastroparesis?


I was recently diagnosed as having gastroparesis and medicine hasn't been helping thus far. Are there any foods, supplements, or drinks like green tea that are known to help alleviate some of the symptoms (nausea and vomiting primarily) of this condition. Thanks
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There are a number of things that can help:

* Eat smaller meals more frequently.

* Eat low-fiber forms of high-fiber foods, such as well-cooked fruits and vegetables rather than raw fruits and vegetables.

* Choose mostly low-fat foods, but if you can tolerate them, add small servings of fatty foods to your diet.

* Avoid fibrous fruits and vegetables, such as oranges and broccoli, that are likely to cause bezoars.

* If liquids are easier for you to ingest, try soups and pureed foods.

* Drink water throughout each meal.

* Try gentle exercise after you eat, such as going for a walk.

* Ginger tea can help with nausea

I hope you feel better.  (+ info)

Does anyone know of effective treatments or ways of dealing with Gastroparesis?


I am type 1 diabetic and I suffer from Gastroparesis. I have a lot of painful bloating and I need a laxative to have any success at all, and then it's only very limited. I know there are some meds for this and a new pacemaker like device implanted in the stomach. My question is does anyone know of an effective treatment, had any specific successes for this or specific dietary changes that work with this illness?
Thanks
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I've had some success with REglan before meals, and with increasing fiber (doctor recommended Citrucel, sugar-free). I got gastroparesis in 1992, so it's been a long time on this stuff, but haven't had any real side effects. But, see what your doctor has to say (you need the prescription for Reglan/metoclopramide anyway). Hope this helps! Best of luck!  (+ info)

Do you or a family member have GASTROPARESIS?


I've just been diagnosed. I've looked at all the internet info on the disease/disorder itself (mine's from diabetes). I want to hear from people living with this and how they cope. I am in my first month of a severe "attack". No bowel movements without extreme medical intervention and lots of nausea and vomiting. I've lost 15 lbs, a bunch of hair and my get up and go has got up and went!
I've got a copy of a diet for gastroparesis which I am following religiously and am on 5 new meds a day, but so far no change. If nothing improves in the next 10 days I will scheduled for surgery.
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medications is the first way to go, they include reglan as well, if meds don't help you can consider peg or pej tube placement too, good luck  (+ info)

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Last update: September 2014