Gastroparesis is a condition in which a human stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal manner. Gastroparesis disorder is also known as delayed gastric emptying. The stomach takes too long to empty food due to the weakening of muscles and the nerves. Gastroparesis disorder affects the normal functioning of contraction which is required for the proper digestion of food. The decline in the ability of the stomach to absorb the nutrients results in delayed flushing of waste out of the body. Gastroparesis disorder is most common among middle age women. When the cause of Gastroparesis is not known it is known as Idiopathic Gastroparesis.
Causes of Gastroparesis
The vagus nerve that controls the movement of food through the digestive tract gets damaged resulting in the delayed digestion of food. Vagus nerve may be affected due to the following causes:
The symptoms of Gastroparesis include:
Diagnosis of Gastroparesis
will ask you about your medical history and may perform a physical exam. After performing a physical exam, the he will order a diagnostic test. Diagnostic tests will help the gastroenterologist in knowing the exact cause of the condition. Diagnostic tests for Gastroparesis may include:
- X-ray- It is done to check for any type of blockage that could be causing Gastroparesis.
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy- In this procedure, a tiny camera is attached to a flexible tube to examine the upper gastrointestinal system.
- Gastro emptying study- It is a nuclear medical test to measure the speed at which a stomach empties the solid food and liquids.
- Gastric manometry- It uses a thin tube to measure the electrical impulses of the stomach and the small intestine.
The most effective treatment of the Gastroparesis is changes in lifestyle. Mild symptoms of Gastroparesis can be treated at home by changing your eating habits. Severe symptoms of Gastroparesis require medical consultation and sometimes surgery. Below are some possible treatment options of Gastroparesis:
- Avoid eating too much in one go instead eat at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Eat foods that are low in fat and fibre.
- Eat slowly and avoid drinking too much water after eating.
- Do yoga to get relief from painful symptoms.
- Take medicines to boost digestion
If a patient does not get relief from above mentioned treatment, then a surgery has to be performed. A surgery for gastroparesis
includes implanting an electric simulator or a feeding tube in the small intestine to speed up the stomach emptying process.