Do you suffer from upper abdominal pain? Do you vomit undigested food, even hours after you’ve finished a meal? You may be suffering from gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis, also referred to as delayed gastric emptying, lazy stomach, or slow stomach, is a condition in which your stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Also, in the normal process of digestion, the stomach contracts, moving food to the small intestine. This process is controlled by the vagus nerve. However, this nerve can become damaged and gastroparesis occurs, causing the stomach and intestines to cease to function correctly. Food becomes stagnant in the digestive tract or moves very slowly through the digestive process.
How Do I Know If I Have a Lazy Stomach?
There are many signs and symptoms associated with delayed gastric emptying. Symptoms include:
- Weight Loss.
- Abdominal pain.
- Loss or lack of appetite.
- Abnormal glucose levels.
- Gastroesophageal reflux.
- Bloating of the abdomen.
- Spasms in the stomach area.
- The feeling of fullness after ingesting small amounts of food.
- Vomiting, even hours after meals (containing undigested food).
Symptoms will vary depending on the individual and the degree of the condition. The disorder is often difficult to diagnose because many people experience gastroparesis differently. While some experience mild, sporadic symptoms, others may experience intense and more constant signs of the disorder.
If signs and symptoms of gastroparesis occur, eating high-fiber foods, fatty foods, or highly carbonated beverages may exasperate your symptoms. If you suspect you may be suffering from a slow or lazy stomach, call our offices so that we can determine your diagnosis and treat the root cause of the issue.
What Causes Gastroparesis?
Damage to the vagus nerve causes gastroparesis, which often occurs in individuals suffering from diabetes. Additionally, high blood sugar levels can contribute to damaged blood vessels, which in turn affect the nerves in the body.
Other causes of delayed gastric emptying include:
- Viral infections.
- Eating disorders.
- Metabolism disorders.
- Nervous system diseases.
- Certain muscle disorders.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Certain medications and narcotics that directly affect the intestines.
What Happens if Gastroparesis is Not Treated?
It is never recommended to leave delayed stomach emptying (or lazy stomach) untreated! If food remains stagnant in the body, bacterial growth can take place. Food that is no longer moving normally through the body can harden as time passes, causing blockages, nausea, or vomiting.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to gastroparesis, a condition that affects the unpredictable movement of food in the body. Consequently, this disorder can also lead to unpredictable fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
How is Gastroparesis Treated?
Unfortunately, gastroparesis is often a chronic condition. However, there are treatment options available so that you can continue to live a healthy and comfortable life. The specific treatment you receive will depend on the symptoms of the disorder. It is best to have a full examination by our team to assess and determine your full range of symptoms.
Medication is often used to combat the effects of gastroparesis. Additionally, there are several medications available that our doctor may prescribe based on the combination that will lead to the most effective treatment for your disorder.
One way to reduce the effects of a slow stomach is through a change of diet. Moreover, our doctors can create a personalized diet plan that effectively fights your symptoms. Additionally, patients often prefer opting for 6 smaller meals per day compared to consuming 3 large meals. When you eat smaller meals, your stomach has an easier job and your digestion becomes more regular. In severe cases, a liquid diet might be advised as well.
Firstly, if small meals and a liquid diet are not successful, a feeding tube may be necessary for your body to receive the nutrients that it needs. Moreover, our team will surgically insert the tube, bypassing the stomach. Additionally, this tube delivers a special liquid, nutrient-rich diet to the intestine, allowing the body to absorb nutrients as intended.
In the most severe cases, they can place a catheter in a chest vein. They attach a feeding bag to an opening outside the skin on this catheter. This is often a temporary solution (instead of a feeding tube) meant to overcome a particularly severe case of gastroparesis. This solution is only used when other methods have failed.
In other cases, when traditional medicinal and dietary options do not succeed, doctors may also explore surgical options.
Nonetheless, our team of qualified professionals is here to walk you through each step as we discover the best plan to combat your gastroparesis symptoms.
Gastroparesis Treatment Near Me
Do you suffer from a slow or lazy stomach? Learn more about bariatric soft food recipes, and long-term diet plans after gastric bypass surgery. Furthermore, you can also download the diet chart from our Bariatric Patient Resources portal.
IBI Healthcare Institute offers quality care for individuals suffering from gastroparesis disorder. Additionally, our qualified staff works to assess your symptoms and create a plan of action to help you achieve a normal, healthy, and happy life.