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Gastroparesis  : An Irritating Health Disorder

Gastroparesis, is the partial paralysis of the stomach causing deferred gastric emptying. It is a discomforting health disorder, in which the vagus nerve which normally controls the food movement from the stomach through the digestive tract gets damaged.

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Also, according to Wikipedia the muscles and the intestines of the stomach stop functioning properly. The amount of food then exhibits slow movement through the digestive tract.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

According to according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases are, some of the main causes symptoms are:

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  • Nausea
  • erratic blood glucose levels
  • lack of appetite
  • spasms of the stomach wall

Causes of Gastroparesis

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Diagnosis of  Gastroparesis

  • Upper endoscopy: In this process, sedative is given and once the patient becomes unconscious a long, thin tube is inserted through mouth, Passing the esophagus, it reaches the stomach where doctor checks the lining of the stomach and discover abnormalities, if any.
  • Barium x ray. Post the fasting of 12 hours, patient is given barium, a thick liquid to drink. It coats the stomach, and visible to X-rays. Patients suffering from diabetes will have to take special considerations for this test.

Other than these, some of the other tests conducted to diagnose gastroparesis are:

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  • Smart pill tests
  • R-R interval study
  • Gamma-Ray Technetium scan
  • Gastric emptying scintigraphy
  • Ultrasound
  • Breath tests

Treating Gastroparesis


Medications are available to stimulate the stomach to contract more. Bethanechol, Metoclopramide and domperidome are some of the known drugs for the problem of gastroparesis. However, these drugs should be taken as per your doctor’s prescription only.

Electrical pacing:

This is the latest method applied for treating gastroparesis. Similar to cardiac pacing, electrical pacing of stomach involves laparoscopic placing of the pacemaker. No large abdominal incision is required to be made to enter the abdomen, instead wire electrodes are skinned to the muscle of the stomach and are pulled out through the abdominal wall lying underneath the skin.


Surgery is actually the last as well as the least practiced method. In the process, a large opening is created between the stomach and the intestine so that the processing of emptying the stomach's contents can be facilitated. Alternatively, the entire stomach may be removed.


Proper exercises before and after meals, under the supervision of a physical trainer should be done. This will keep your body fit that facilitate proper functioning of the stomach and abdominal part of the body.

Diet plan:

A strict diet plan is very important to treat gastroparesis. All food items that have fats including vegetables oils should be avoided. Also, food items like cabbage and broccoli that tend to stay longer in the stomach should not be taken.  Intake of fibrous food and liquids should be increased so as to treat the problem of Gastroparesis. In addition to this, things that are hard to digest such as fast food should be strictly restricted.

Special massages:

Special massages or reflexology is usually practiced. Pressing of specific points helps in proper functioning of the abdominal part of the body. It largely helps in reducing the pain and discomfort.

Complications occurring due to Gastroparesis

  • The unpredictable digestion times may result in fluctuating blood glucose
  • Improper functioning of intestines because of bezoars formation
  • General malnutrition
  • Complaints of quick and severe fatigue and weight loss
  • Presence of undigested food may lead to bacterial growth


Gastroparesis is a discomforting health problem. Various tests are available to diagnose this problem along with its treatments, suggested as per the cause. From medication to surgery, every sort of treatment is available for Gastroparesis in accordance to its severity.

Written by: healthplus24.com

Date last updated: February 18, 2016

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