Gastroparesis - Describe Your Experience

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What is gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis means weakness of the muscles of the stomach. Gastroparesis results in slow emptying of food from the stomach into the small intestine.

The stomach is a hollow organ composed primarily of muscle. Solid food that has been swallowed is stored in the stomach while it is ground into tiny pieces by the constant churning generated by rhythmic contractions of the stomach's muscles. Since smaller particles are digested better in the small intestine than larger particles, only food that has been ground into small particles is emptied from the stomach. Liquid food does not require grinding.

The ground solid and liquid food is emptied from the stomach into the small intestine slowly in a metered fashion. The metering process allows the emptied food to be well-mixed with the digestive juices of the small intestine, pancreas, and liver (bile) and to be absorbed well from the intestine. The metering process by which solid and liquid foods are emptied from the stomach is a result of a combination of relaxation of the muscle in parts of the stomach designed to accommodate food, and the pressure generated by the muscle in other parts of the stomach that pushes the food into the small intestine. (Thus, the stomach can store and empty food at the same time.) The metering also is controlled by the opening and closing of the pylorus, the muscular opening of the stomach into the small intestine.

When the contractions of the stomach's muscles are weakened, food is not thoroughly ground and does not empty into the intestine normally. Since the muscular actions whereby solid food and liquid food are emptied from the stomach are slightly different, the emptying of solids and liquids follows different time courses, and there may be slow emptying of solid food (most common), solid and liquid food (less common), or liquid food alone (least common).

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Comment from: ren, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 19

I have had gastroparesis for 4 years, only vomiting in the morning. I am diabetic and also have Addison's disease. I have had every test, and been to all specialists. I seem to make about 2 weeks and am back in hospital for 3 hours to a week or more. I am on domperidone, Buscopan. Metoclopramide, and Zofran. I have tried acupuncture point ST 36, and drinking hot fluids gives some relief some days. I have lost 40 pounds over the years and not getting any back. I am frustrated and ready for something to give. Blood sugars run good. I can't eat very much, I stop eating and drinking at 9 pm, take domperidone at bed up to 4 pills but no difference, and clear food diet. My doctors are just going through all the pills I have been on again. I am pretty much down to a feeding tube or gastro electric stimulation.

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Comment from: TiffenyG., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

I have been sick for a little over a year and was finally diagnosed with gastroparesis. I also have GERD and (laryngopharyngeal reflux) LPR. I am currently using 40 mg of omeprazole 2 times a day. I tried Reglan but could not tolerate it. My gastroenterologist is planning on doing Botox injections in my stomach to treat the gastroparesis. I was wondering if anyone had had this procedure and if so, how it went. Also, I was wondering if anyone has had the Stretta Procedure. It has shown to not only strengthen the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), but also help with gastroparesis. It's non-invasive and something I'd like to hear more patient experience about. Thank You!

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