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    Brianna Shaw, MSP
  • on Nov 13, 2019 |

Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach can’t empty itself of food the way it normally is supposed to. It can be caused by damage to the nerve that regulates the digestive system which prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from moving food through the digestive system properly.

The causes of gastroparesis can include:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Gastric surgery with injury to the vagus nerve
  • Medications such as antidepressants and narcotics

Gastroparesis is a chronic condition which means that treatments usually don’t cure the disease. However, there are many steps that you can take to manage and control the condition. Some people may benefit from medications that control nausea and help food move along normally. One of the best ways to control the symptoms of gastroparesis is to change your daily eating habits. This may include eating 6 smaller meals multiple times a day instead of 3 meals a day.

The symptoms of gastroparesis include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Poor blood sugar control
  • Vomiting undigested food
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling full quickly after eating

 In severe cases, a feeding tube may need to be used to put nutrients that go directly into the small intestine. This bypasses the stomach and gets it into the bloodstream more quickly. Other treatments include electrical stimulation that helps cause contractions in the stomach to help digestion.