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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See what others are saying

Comment from: Jeremy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 02

My wife has been diagnosed with gastroparesis after having her gallbladder removed. It has been horrible. She is on medication but it has not helped. She is limited to five foods that she does not throw up. Last Monday she couldn't even keep down water or Gatorade. We are in the hospital now and they don't know what to do.

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Comment from: Moving on hopefully, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I had gastroparesis for 3 years on and off I lost about 20 to 30 pounds; tried everything. Zofran gave some relief from vomiting and Zantac helped some with terrible heartburn. Then I had Botox injection into the pyloric valve and within 2 weeks I felt like a new person. It has been 10 months and it is just starting to return. It has been wonderful, I would like to offer the treatment to everyone and hope it helps you like it did me.

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