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Friday, February 16, 2018

Brain Fog: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

We all know that feeling; We try to talk to others and cannot find the words. We forget the words we want to say, or know the words we want to say but cannot seem to spit them out. We forget activities and memories. We forget what we need to do unless we write it down. It is VERY frustrating to everyone involved.

Source: Imgur

My husband will get very frustrated with me, because unless I religiously write things down, I forget things all of the time. He has a trip he's going on for work next week, actually, and I forgot the conversation we had about it when he told me he was going. Now, I write in my Gastroparesis Journal constantly and I use my Google Calendar to remind myself of appointments, when my husband has work out of town, birthdays, and everything that's important to me. I love Google Calendar because they will send you reminders like text messages, emails, and popups.

I have to make lists of things I need to do that day. My memory used to be amazing, but since I was officially diagnosed with Gastroparesis, my memory is NOT what it used to be. I could remember dates without issue, remember to go to the pharmacy, and that kind of thing. Now, it is like I have no short term memory and my long term memory seems blocked, most of the time. I cannot even tell you all of what I posted on Facebook yesterday, for instance.

I wanted to research into what causes memory loss, which I call "GP Brain," others call it "Brain Fog," and if there is any hope of reversal. I do know that I need to recognize my limitations, now that I have it, and try to adjust accordingly. I ask others to be patient with me and explain my situation a little bit to them. I carry notebooks and my journal in my purse. And, like I said, I use Google Calendar. It is hard to adjust when you had an excellent memory before, but life is about adjustments and it isn't always fair. You need to find what works for you.

Source: They state, "When it comes to the brain, the urgency and importance of the issue increases manifold because life productivity takes a serious hit if the brain isn’t functioning at its optimal best. A muddled sensation though normal at occasional times, chronic forgetfulness or mental slowness is not and therefore, one should not take brain fog lightly at all."

What Is Brain Fog?

According to the Edorium Journal, they describe these issues at the cause for Brain Fog:

"With the progression of age the deterioration of memory is the norm, a part of the natural process of life. However, the slow fading of memory is sometimes aggravated in the prime of life and even young people at times, experience clouded feelings and momentary lapses in thinking. This phenomenon is commonly known as brain fog or brain fatigue. However, this is not a mental disorder or a medical condition in any sense rather it is a term to explain certain symptoms that can affect a person’s ability to think clearly.

Whenever someone experiences forgetfulness, feels utterly confused while tying up thoughts, or has disorganized thinking, or has inability to focus or is hard pressed to put their thoughts into words, they are experiencing brain fog. This fatigue of the brain can be caused or exacerbated by certain conditions or situations. An understanding of the common triggers that cause brain fog is necessary to avoid its occurrences as well as to maintain good health practices. A clear-thinking and healthy brain is the pre-requisite to a healthy living.

Whenever someone experiences forgetfulness, feels utterly confused while tying up thoughts, or has disorganized thinking, or has inability to focus or is hard pressed to put their thoughts into words, they are experiencing brain fog. This fatigue of the brain can be caused or exacerbated by certain conditions or situations. An understanding of the common triggers that cause brain fog is necessary to avoid its occurrences as well as to maintain good health practices. A clear-thinking and healthy brain is the pre-requisite to a healthy living."

Source: Imgur

What Are The Symptoms of Brain Fog?

Additionally, according to Edorium Journal,

"This mental fog or cognitive dysfunction as it is also known shows a number of symptoms.

1. low energy or tiredness, including chronic fatigue syndrome,

2. irritability due to inability in concentration,

3. poor working memory causing hindrance in executive functions,

4. decreased ability in memorizing or remembering things,

5. impaired or delayed information processing ability,

6. dwindling motivation due to mental confusion, etc."

Source: Located at the bottom of image.

These indicators point towards the clouding of consciousness whereby an inflammation of the brain due to certain underlying causes prohibits us from enjoying the benefits of a fully-functional brain. If these causes are ascertained then the affects of brain fog are reversible. The most important and also the most common causes of brain fog can be enumerated as the following:

1. A lot of women find it difficult to remember things or process information swiftly during pregnancy. Carrying and nurturing a baby changes the body in a lot of ways and certain chemicals, hormones, etc released during this period to nourish the baby may bring on problems associated with memory.

2. Poor diet is a major reason affecting the brain and there are certain food elements that are not brain-healthy and we should be aware of these. [See my article on Malnutrition here and what it can do to the body:]

3. Eating for a healthy functioning brain is simple and should principally consist in avoiding excess sugar and extra calories. Also, half of your daily food intake should ideally include fruits and vegetables. Nutritional deficiencies such as, Vitamin B12 deficiency lower brain functioning ability. [See my article on Vitamin Deficiencies and what they can do here:]

4. Neurological and vascular problems such as caused by diseases like, Multiple Sclerosis.

5. Medication induced after-effects and side-effects such as cancer treatment related or anti-cholinergic drugs, etc.

6. Autoimmune, infectious, psychiatric illnesses also debilitate brain performance.

7. Lifestyle factors including sleep disorders, alcohol abuse, depression, etc."

Source: Imgur

How Do You Cope With Brain Fog?

Like I said before, I carry around a GP Journal I write things in, I also have a smaller notepad to write things down, and I use Google Calendar. Everyone is different, so you will have to find a method that works for you. I will try to list as many ideas as I can to help.

Molly's Fund has wonderful ideas below on how to cope with Brain Fog.


Edorium Journal suggests doing these things to cope with Brain Fog,

"Now that the causes are known, actionable steps to combat brain fog can be clearly undertaken. In case of diseases, symptomatic treatments and other alternative steps to naturally prevent the progression of disease can assist in preventing brain fog. Also, an overall strategy for a healthy brain should leverage diet, exercise, food and supplements together. There are a number of things that can be done to improve brain power even socialization helps in sharpening the intellect.

Although at times people experiencing brain fog are too depressed and poorly motivated to initiate changes or take up improvement steps. In such cases, first comes a proper sleep. Proper and plenty of sleep gives the brain time to clean up residual debris of the thinking day, consolidate the memories of the day and create new brain cells to replace the ones lost during the day. Thus, boosting cognitive function and performance, brain hormonal balance and resulting in a rested person. It’s not just a proverb when they say, you should sleep on it.

Lastly, exercise to release endorphins and eliminate the free radicals, and meditate to relieve stress. These gems should help you banish brain fog effectively."

"The Mighty," suggests seventeen phone applications that can help you with Brain Fog here:

Here are some natural treatments regarding Brain Fog,

The source and for more natural treatments on how to help Brain Fog, can be found here:

And finally, if you have an invisible illness, some of these treatments for Brain Fog might be similar to the ones above but I wanted to share it anyway. This is from "Fibromyalgia News Today" and they recommend this:

Source: Imgur

In Conclusion:

I know that with an invisible illness, like Gastroparesis, it's really hard for us to eat as some of these helpful hints suggest. I would recommend talking with your doctor about Brain Fog, because we are all different. What works for someone else may not work for me. I have to come up with a mixture of suggestions that might work for me, personally. I usually write out questions for the doctor before I go, so I don't forget anything. I make notes as he talks to me as well. Also, I put a magnetic shopping list on the fridge so that my household can write stuff down as we use it, instead of making a list from scratch when we need to go to the store. That helps me so much and takes the pressure off of any of us if we did it as a mass list, because we would all forget things.

I hope this article will help you understand Brain Fog a bit better. It's frustrating to go through and hard to deal with, but it is something that can be dealt with. If you battle Brain Fog, just know that you are NOT alone. Just stay strong and keep your chin up. I will try to update this article as I learn more, so that you can keep updated on new treatments, symptoms, or any changes.

Monday, January 1, 2018

How to Obtain Domperidone

I have seen this question in a lot of groups. I wanted to share the information I had on it, so that it might help someone else.

Information can be found with the FDA/DEA.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Gastroparesis' Effects on Dental Health

A lot of people do not realize that Gastroparesis can really effect your dental health. I brush my teeth and use mouthwash, although I do not floss as much as I should. I also vomit a lot with Gastroparesis, and most of what I vomit is stomach acid. Stomach acid, in itself, is rough on your teeth because it strips the enamel from your teeth and it makes your teeth weaker. It also opens your teeth up to cavities and to breakages, because they are not as strong and protected without the enamel.

To say the least, it has been rough on mine and I have been throwing up for years. This year, however, I have broken three teeth - I broke two back molars three days ago. I thought I had only broken one, but as it turns out, I broke another molar. I went to the dentist today and they could not save the very lower left back molar I broke, because once they cleared the cavity out, there was not enough tooth left to even salvage. They could save the other molar, though, by bone grafts and an implant. This is a VERY expensive treatment. I'm very lucky I have dental insurance, and they do cover implants which is quite rare, but I still have to pay out of pocket and it is going to be a bill over a thousand dollars. Most people cannot afford treatments like this. I'm fortunate I can.

The Process:

But, I wanted to write this article to bring awareness to the fact that Gastroparesis can cause other secondary issues. We do not just suffer from Gastroparesis and what it does to us - the vomiting, cramping, pain, the inability to digest food, etc. It can also cause issues that people would not think of - like dental issues or back problems. I'm going to focus on the dental issues in this article, since I'm dealing with just those issues right now.


According to Decisions in Dentistry (,

"Oral health professionals should be prepared to identify clinical findings associated with diagnosed or undiagnosed gastric diseases, dietary habits and psychological disorders (such as bulimia) that may result in vomiting and reflux. Gastric fluids are composed of hydrochloric acid, which may have a pH of 1.0 to 2.0.1 These strong acids can soften enamel and dentin, increasing the risk of tooth surface loss caused by bruxing, toothbrushing, or consuming hard or abrasive foods.2 In addition to the intrinsic effects of gastric fluids, erosive tooth wear may also be related to the extrinsic dietary acids found in many foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.3 As such, when erosion is detected, oral health professionals should identify its etiology and institute behavioral and preventive strategies to manage it.4 Gastroparesis is one example of a gastric condition that can have significant oral health consequences. In order to help guide clinicians toward effective management strategies, this article presents a case study of erosive tooth wear attributed to this condition.

Gastroparesis is a chronic gastrointestinal motility disorder characterized by delayed gastric emptying;5 patients experience partial paralysis of the stomach, which results in food retention in the stomach for extended periods. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and bloating.5,6 Patients with gastric disorders who seek medical treatment are provided with dietary counseling and may be prescribed medications to alleviate symptoms. When taking medical histories, oral health professionals should ask if the patient has been diagnosed with gastroparesis or other gastric disorders in order to plan appropriate treatment.7


For example, the medical history of a woman with the chief complaint of extremely sensitive teeth revealed a diagnosis of gastroparesis. The patient was taking esomeprazole and omeprazole, both of which are proton pump inhibitors that suppress production of gastric acids. In addition to the pain and functional difficulties her dentition was causing, the patient was self-conscious about her smile (Figure 1). A comprehensive examination revealed erosion with dentin exposure, staining, decalcification, noncarious cervical lesions and gingival recession. These were noted in her record. The patient’s gingival display was adequate and within normal limits. A caries risk assessment was completed and, due to low salivary pH and hyposalivation, her risk level was deemed high.

The patient in this case report presented with erosion and dentin exposure, which made her self-conscious about her smile.
FIGURE 1.The patient in this case report presented with erosion and dentin exposure, which made her self-conscious about her smile.
A treatment plan was formulated and discussed with the patient. A diagnostic wax-up of the proposed occlusal scheme was completed (Figure 2). Oral hygiene instructions were presented. The patient was prescribed a high-fluoride toothpaste and given xylitol mints and oral spray containing a pH-neutralizing agent.8 The patient was also counseled about dietary habits. Additionally, the oral side effects of her gastroparesis medications — including decreased salivary flow leading to xerostomia — were discussed.

FIGURE 2. A diagnostic wax-up of the proposed occlusal scheme was created.**
FIGURE 2. A diagnostic wax-up of
the proposed occlusal scheme was
FIGURE 3. A splint was fabricated at the new vertical dimension of occlusion.
FIGURE 3. A splint was fabricated
at the new vertical dimension of
FIGURE 4. Temporary splinted composite onlays were placed at the new vertical dimension of occlusion.
FIGURE 4. Temporary splinted
composite onlays were placed at the
new vertical dimension of occlusion.

After reevaluating the patient’s caries risk level, an esthetic treatment plan was formulated. Lithium disilicate onlays were planned for teeth #18, #19, #20 and #29. Lithium disilicate crowns were planned for teeth #21, #28, #30 and #31. These all-ceramic crowns have high success rates.9 Composite buildups were planned for teeth #22 through #27. Because the patient’s periodontal condition was stable, with no biologic width problems, crown lengthening and gingivectomy were not required. The decision was made to increase the vertical dimension of occlusion due to the loss of tooth structure during conservative preparation.10

FIGURES 5A and 5B. The posterior teeth and quadrants were prepared to receive lithium disilicate onlays and crowns.
FIGURES 5A and 5B. The posterior teeth and quadrants were prepared to receive lithium disilicate onlays and crowns.
The patient accepted the proposed treatment plan. A smile design was completed based on the wax-up, and the patient was eager to begin treatment. Before preparing the teeth, the patient was placed in temporary splinted composite overlays at the new vertical dimension of occlusion (Figure 3 and Figure 4). The patient adapted well to these changes.

FIGURES 6A through 6C. Posterior lithium disilicate onlays and crowns are ready to be delivered.
FIGURES 6A through 6C. Posterior lithium disilicate onlays and crowns are ready to be delivered.
With the new vertical dimensions of occlusion, the maxillary anterior teeth were prepared for crowns. Anterior teeth #6 to #11 were prepared, impressed and temporized for lithium disilicate restorations. At the next appointment, lithium disilicate crowns were applied to teeth #6 through #11. The patient indicated she was pleased with the esthetic result. At the following appointments, posterior quadrants were prepared and restored sequentially, using bonded lithium disilicate onlays and crowns (Figures 5A and 5B; Figures 6A through 6C). Composite buildups were completed on the lower anterior teeth #22 through #27. The treatment eliminated the patient’s dentinal hypersensitivity and improved oral function and appearance (Figures 7A and 7B).

FIGURES 7A and 7B. The patient reported being pleased with the final results. The therapy eliminated hypersensitivity and improved oral function and appearance.
FIGURES 7A and 7B. The patient reported being pleased with the final results. The therapy eliminated hypersensitivity and improved oral function and appearance.


As noted, dental professionals should be able to identify dental erosion and erosive tooth wear,11,12and be adept at recognizing the signs of dental erosion, determining the etiology, and discussing clinical findings with patients. Sensitive findings in the medical history, such as the effects of eating disorders (e.g., anorexia or bulimia), should be handled cautiously.7 Patients who are unaware that gastric acid may cause erosion should be referred to their physician for additional diagnostic testing. Patients should also be educated about the risks acid reflux poses to oral and systemic health. In cases in which it is determined that erosive tooth wear is due to dietary habits, patients should be advised to limit their intake of acidic foods and beverages.13 They need to understand that it is far better to manage tooth surface loss early, as opposed to taking a 'wait-and-watch' approach that may lead to more extensive and expensive restorative dentistry.

These patients should be placed on a frequent recare schedule that includes regular caries risk assessment, monitoring of dietary acid intake, and reinforcement of preventive strategies. This will help to support patients’ oral health, as well as restoration stability and longevity.

Even though the etiology of dental erosion is multifactorial, clinicians should be able to identify possible causes and discuss these with patients. Oral health professionals should also work with patients’ physicians to ensure appropriate counseling and treatment. In addition to managing erosive tooth wear, it is important for dental team members to understand the need to educate patients about the causes of erosion — and what can be done to prevent its potentially damaging oral health consequences.


Whether the result of gastric disease, dietary habits or psychological disorders (such as bulimia), the introduction of gastric acids into the oral cavity can have negative ramifications for oral health.
Potential consequences include softening of enamel and dentin that increases the risk of tooth surface loss caused by bruxing, aggressive toothbrushing, or consuming hard or abrasive foods.2
When erosion is detected, oral health professionals should seek to identify its etiology, and institute behavioral and preventive strategies to manage it.4
When taking medical histories, dental professionals should ask if the patient has been diagnosed with gastric disorders in order to plan effective treatment.7
As appropriate, patients who are unaware that gastric acid may cause erosion should be referred to a physician for additional diagnostic testing. Patients should also be advised about the risks acid reflux poses to oral and systemic health.
These patients should be placed on a frequent recare schedule that includes regular caries risk assessment, monitoring of dietary acid intake, and reinforcement of preventive strategies.


The authors would like to thank Susan Do, DDS, for providing the images.


Moazzez R, Bartlett D. Intrinsic causes of dental erosion. Monogr Oral Sci. 2014;25:180–196.
Ranjitkar S, Smales RJ, Kaidonis JN. Oral manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012;27:21–27.
Barbour ME, Lussi A. Erosion in relation to nutrition and the environment. Monogr Oral Sci. 2014;25:143–154.
Lussi A, Caravalho TS. Erosive tooth wear. A multifactorial condition of growing concern and increasing knowledge. Mono Oral Sci. 2014;25:1–15.
Camilleri M, Grover M, Farrugia G. What are the important subsets of gastroparesis? Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012;24:597–603.
Camilleri M, Parkman HP, Shafi MA, Abell TL, Gerson L, American College of Gastroenterology. Clinical guideline: management of gastroparesis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108:18–37.
Lussi A. Dental erosion clinical diagnosis and case history taking. Euro J Oral Sci. 1996;104:191–198.
Bellamy R, Harris R, Date RF, et al. In situ clinical evaluation of a stabilized stannous fluoride dentifrice. Int Dent J. 2014;25:197–205.
Christensen GJ. The all-ceramic restoration dilemma: where are we? J Am Dent Assoc. 2011;142:668–671.
Spear FM, Kokich VG, Marhew D. Interdisciplinary management of anterior dental esthetics. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137:160–169.
Barbour M, Lussi A, Shellis R. Screening and predication of dental erosion. Caries Res. 2011;45(Suppl 1):24–32.
Hellwig E, Lussi A. Oral hygiene products, medications and drugs — hidden etiologic factors for dental erosion. Monogr Oral Sci. 2014;25:155–162.
Cochrane NJ, Cai F, Yuan Y, Reynolds EC. Erosive potential of beverages sold in Australian schools. Aust Dent J. 2009;54:238–244.
The authors have no commercial conflicts of interest to disclose.


From Decisions in Dentistry. February 2017;3(2):28–31.
**SIDENOTE: You can see the figures and diagrams by clicking on the link above."

My friend Robin decided to go with an implant instead of a crown. She said that even stomach acid (GERD or if you vomit it up) can still get under a crown and decay your tooth.

She says about her x-ray (pictured above),

"Tooth on left has a crown-decay under gum. Tooth on right has filling- decay under gum line. That foreign object is a Bicon Implant. Stomach acid ate my teeth from under gum line. Mine is from acid backwash at night"




"You call it a cavity. Your dentist calls it tooth decay or dental caries. They're all names for a hole in your tooth. The cause of tooth decay is plaque, a sticky substance in your mouth made up mostly of germs. Tooth decay starts in the outer layer, called the enamel. Without a filling, the decay can get deep into the tooth and its nerves and cause a toothache or abscess." This is according to Medline Plus (


The article above had the conclusion that,

"Even though the etiology of dental erosion is multifactorial, oral health professionals should be able to identify possible causes and discuss these with the patient. Educating patients on causes of dental erosion is important in clinical practice. Oral health professionals should work with patients' physicians to ensure proper counseling and treatment management. In particular, dental hygienists can play a key role in the identification and management of severe erosive tooth wear."

So, what that means for us Gastroparesis warriors is that we are just going to have to stay away from acidic foods (if you can tolerate them), and continue to brush/floss daily. We should go in for regular cleanings but be sure to tell the hygienist or dentist you have Gastroparesis, even if you have to explain it to them. If you can get your medical records from your GI to bring with you to the dentist, they may have a better idea of where your treatment is at and what you are doing - what medications you could be on that might help erode enamel/teeth quicker, and that sort of thing. It's important to call the dentist as soon as a tooth starts bothering you. Do not wait, because if you wait, it could break like mine did, or be a lot more expensive to fix in the long run. So basically, all we can really do is stay on top of our dental health, which is hard since we have SO MUCH to keep up with health wise - records, doctor's visits, and so on. But, I haven't been able to find too many articles about tooth decay and Gastroparesis except for the one study above. I hope this helps you some. If I learn more, I will update this article.


Malnutrition and Vitamin Deficiencies Can Lead To Tooth Decay


I've written an article on Vitamin Deficiencies here:


I've written an article on Malnutrition here:

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dysautonomia and Gastroparesis


I have noticed in my support groups that a lot more people are being diagnosed with POTS and Dysautonomia. I have been asked if it is related to Gastroparesis, since they were diagnosed with the others after the initial diagnosis of Gastroparesis. I wanted to write an article on POTS and Dysautonomia to not only help those newly diagnosed, but to explain the connection between the two and Gastroparesis. I especially wanted to write about Dysautonomia because October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month.


So, what is Dysautonomia?

According to the Cleveland Clinic ( ,

"What is Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia refers to a disorder of autonomic nervous system (ANS) function that generally involves failure of the sympathetic or parasympathetic components of the ANS, but dysautonomia involving excessive or overactive ANS actions also can occur. Dysautonomia can be local, as in reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or generalized, as in pure autonomic failure. It can be acute and reversible, as in Guillain-Barre syndrome, or chronic and progressive. Several common conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism can include dysautonomia. Dysautonomia also can occur as a primary condition or in association with degenerative neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Other diseases with generalized, primary dysautonomia include multiple system atrophy and familial dysautonomia. Hallmarks of generalized dysautonomia due to sympathetic failure are impotence (in men) and a fall in blood pressure during standing (orthostatic hypotension). Excessive sympathetic activity can present as hypertension or a rapid pulse rate.

Is there any treatment?

There is usually no cure for dysautonomia. Secondary forms may improve with treatment of the underlying disease. In many cases treatment of primary dysautonomia is symptomatic and supportive. Measures to combat orthostatic hypotension include elevation of the head of the bed, water bolus (rapid infusion of water given intravenously), a high-salt diet, and drugs such as fludrocortisone and midodrine.

What is the prognosis?

The outlook for individuals with dysautonomia depends on the particular diagnostic category. People with chronic, progressive, generalized dysautonomia in the setting of central nervous system degeneration have a generally poor long-term prognosis. Death can occur from pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, or sudden cardiopulmonary arrest.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports and conducts research on dysautonomia. This research aims to discover ways to diagnose, treat, and, ultimately, prevent these disorders.


National Dysautonomia Research Foundation

P.O. Box 301
Red Wing, MN 55066-0301
Tel: 651-327-0367
Fax: 651-267-0524

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

Dysautonomia Foundation

315 W. 39th Street
Suite 701
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212-279-1066
Fax: 212-279-2066

Familial Dysautonomia Hope Foundation, Inc. (FD Hope)

121 South Estes Drive
Suite 205-D
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-2868
Tel: 919-969-1414

The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition

9935-D Rea Road
Charlotte, NC 28227
Tel: 866-737-5999

Dysautonomia Youth Network of America, Inc.

1301 Greengate Court
Waldorf, MD 20601
Tel: 301-705-6995
Fax: 301-638-DYNA

Source: National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 8/11/2015...#6004"







Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Information to Help the Newly Diagnosed and to Help Family/Friends Understand Gastroparesis

I have written a series of articles over the years but wanted to put them together, sort them, if you will, so that they would be much easier to get to. I wanted to put them all together in a post to help people find the information they may need right at the moment, so they do not have to hunt through 200 posts. All you have to do is click on the bold, capital letters to reach the articles listed below.

Information to Help Family and Friends Understand Gastroparesis (GP):

TO THE LOVED ONES OF A PERSON DEALING WITH CHRONIC PAIN. This article helps those who may never have experienced chronic pain to understand it.

A LETTER FROM A GPER TO A FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER. This is to help friends and family understand what it's like living with Gastroparesis.

ADVICE FOR CAREGIVERS WHO WITNESS LOVED ONES SUFFERING FROM GASTROPARESIS. This article is self explanatory. It gives those who take care of GPers advice on how to handle things and what to do/what not to do. It's very helpful.

WHEN TELLING SOMEONE THEY LOOK GREAT BECOMES AN INSULT. This article goes into detail on how telling someone who is chronically ill, especially with GP, that looking great can be an insult. It's a very good article.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THE SITUATION, "BUT YOU DON'T LOOK SICK!" This article goes into detail about how people who say we don't look sick, even though they might mean well, of how it does more harm than good. Some people do not realize this and think that they're being helpful, or even nice. The article goes into detail about why it's a bad thing to say.

RESOURCES TO EXPLAIN DTP/GP OR A CHRONIC ILLNESS TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS. This article goes into detail of trying to explain having Gastroparesis/DTP and/or any chronic illness to family and friends. It tries to explain it in a way that healthy people can understand, because I feel, personally, unless you've been there, it's a bit hard to understand. I wanted to try and find a way to get others to understand because I am tired of being doubted. You shouldn't have to fight your family and friends when you already fight with doctors, nurses, etc. There's just not enough energy for that.

ADVOCACY FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILY/FRIENDS OF A CHRONICALLY ILL PATIENT. This article explains how you and your family should be your advocate when navigating the healthcare system. Sometimes, we are too sick to fight for ourselves, and having someone there with you to help you makes a difference. It gives a lot of pointers on how to be your own advocate as well.

A DOCTOR'S ADVICE TO THOSE WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS. This article will help you but I think it will also help your family and friends who do not suffer from a chronic illness to understand one.

GASTROPARESIS PATIENTS VS DRUG SEEKERS. This article explains the difference between drug seekers/addicts and people suffering from Gastroparesis and other chronic illnesses which cause pain. It helps the reader to understand the difference. People who suffer from chronic pain, whether it's from nerve damage or other reasons, constantly have to defend themselves in Emergency Rooms, to doctors, to office staff, to family members, and to friends. It's exhausting, especially when we didn't ask for a chronic illness or chronic pain.

Image Source: Melissa M.

Resources for the Newly Diagnosed:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING GASTROPARESIS. This article contains frequently asked questions regarding gastroparesis and answers to those questions. These are questions I see a lot in groups and on my pages, so I thought I would answer them.

ADVICE FOR THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED WITH GASTROPARESIS/DTP. This article contains more resources for those who have been newly diagnosed with Gastroparesis/DTP.

YOU'VE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH GP, NOW WHAT? This article gives resources like the Gastroparesis diet, support groups, and other important things to know about Gastroparesis.

THE GASTROPARESIS DIET & RECIPE HELP/IDEAS. This article was written to help those who have been diagnosed and need to change their dietary needs to accompany the illness that invades their digestive systems. The link to this article is definitely in the articles above, for the newly diagnosed. I have collected no just friendly Gastroparesis food recipes, but also recipes for juicing and smoothies. Unfortunately, it is trial and error for everyone, because everyone's GP is different. You just have to find what works for you. There are also support groups for people who have GP who swap recipes and help each other. Additionally, I have uploaded documents containing information about the Gastroparesis diet that the Mayo Clinic gave me.

GASTROPARESIS' EFFECTS ON DENTAL HEALTH. This article goes into what causes dental issues for Gastroparesis warriors. It explores what causes tooth decay, because many GPers lose their teeth, break teeth, and have horrible cavities. There are a variety of factors from vomiting up stomac acid tomalnjjfgion.

PROGRESSIONAL TIMELINE OF GASTROPARESIS/EDS/DYSAUTONOMIA. This is a request for timelines for those who have been diagnosed with GP/DTP, EDS, and Dysautonomia. I want to do some research and compare timelines between people to see if I can spot a pattern. Hopefully, I can compile enough research to give it to a doctor/researcher who can take the idea and go from there. I thought it would be an interesting project because I know most of my friends diagnosed with GP suffer from EDS and Dysautonomia too. I am curious to see if there's a connection there but I need a large sample size to see if there is.

THE GASTRIC STIMULATOR PART I - PERSONAL STORIES FROM REAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD THE SURGERY. This article contains personal stories from those who have Gastroparesis and have gotten the gastric stimulator/pacemaker surgery to help them eat. On a side note, there is a group that is composed of people who have had the surgery and are able to answer any questions you might have, and it's important to do your own research and ask questions before a major surgery like this. However, keep in mind that everyone is different when it comes to Gastroparesis. The group is listed below in the Resources article and this article.

INFORMATION ON THE VAGUS NERVE. This article goes into detail about the vagus nerve, what it controls and where it runs through your body. The article also has links to the "Vagus Nerve Stimulator" and "The Brain in Your Gut."

THE GASTRIC BYPASS, THE SLEEVE, AND GP. This article goes into detail about the gastric bypass and sleeve, along with personal stories of those with gastroparesis who had these surgeries. I did a year's worth of research into the gastric bypass, because my GI kept insisting that it would help me. However, I decided it was not for me after speaking to GP friends who had it done, and the they experienced horrifying issues. I did upload all of the paperwork tat I was asked to fill out, so you understand the procedure you are comiting to.

GASTROPARESIS RESOURCES & ONLINE GROUPS. This is a link to all kinds of resources for Gastroparesis, including support groups, blogs, Pinterests, etc. A great article to help you, and it is constantly updated with new groups and information about Gastroparesis.

THE IMPACT OF VITAMIN DEFICIENCIES. This article dives into the different vitamin deficiencies and the symptoms for each. If you notice any of these symptoms, please call your doctor immediately. It is easy for people like us to have low vitamins because we cannot eat like "normal" people.

INFORMATION ABOUT MALNUTRITION. This article explores the symptoms of malnutrition, what causes it, how it effects us, and the treatment for it. This, and vitamin deficiencies, are VERY serious! Please call your doctor if you have the issues outlined in this article.

POOP - WHAT THE DIFFERENT COLORS AND SMELLS MEAN. A lot of people are embarrassed to ask this question when something isn't right. However, this article contains charts and sources to help you figure out what is going on. It is NOT a substitution for medical advice from your doctor. You should always call your doctor if you feel like something is wrong or not like it should be. But, for those of you who have questions, this article will help you and maybe even help you write down questions to take with you to the doctor.

DUMPING SYNDROME. This is an article explaining dumping syndrome; What it is, what causes it, and goes into details about it. I have experienced it first hand, when my stomach wants to empty all at once because the bile doesn't have a lot of places to go. It has cited sources, like all of my articles, so that you can read from the source and write down any questions you may have for the doctor.

INSPIRATION AND HOW TO KEEP YOUR MARRIAGE STRONG DURING A CHRONIC ILLNESS. Marriage is hard enough as it is without adding a chronic illness into the mix. However, life happens. This article will give you some pointers on how to keep your marriage strong when your chronically sick.

HOW GP/DTP - PAIN EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY. This article describes and gives suggestions on how to cope with pain related to Gastroparesis and Digestive Tract Paralysis (DTP). It was compiled from suggestions given by other warriors who are fighting the same fight.

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED. It is really easy to lose pleasure in things you once loved, and it's hard to look on the bright side when you're constantly sick. However, this article will give some ideas about keeping motivated, even during the worst of times. You're NOT alone!

HOW TO STAY POSITIVE, ESPECIALLY IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. This article is a lot like the article above. It gives ideas and ways to stay positive, even when the world seems so bleak because you're constantly sick.

FEELING GOOD WHEN YOU'RE FEELING DOWN. This article gives pointers on how to stay positive and feel good when you become depressed. We all get really sad every now and then, especially when we're overwhelmed and tired. This article gives some tips that might help. But, if you feel really down all of the time, you need to talk to your doctor.

HANDLING HOLIDAYS WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS. The holidays are coming up and this article gives tips on how to get through the holidays with a chronic illness like Gastroparesis, because almost or all of our holidays are centered around food.

INFORMATION ABOUT GASTROPARESIS AND TRAVELING WITH GP. This article will give you information on what Gastroparesis is, what causes it, and traveling information. I obtained in depth handouts from the Mayo Clinic and uploaded them for everyone. The article has information from Mayo on how to travel with Gastroparesis, and a link to an article on traveling with a feeding tube. It also has a link to the Gastroparesis diet.

HOW TO FEEL SEXY OR HAVE SEX WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS. I've gotten this question a few times but people are too embarrassed to ask it, usually. I decided to write an article on it that might help.

PREGNANCY AND GASTROPARESIS. I've gotten this question a lot too, so I consulted people who have been pregnant with gp, and wrote an article to help those who may be thinking of getting pregnant but worried about their GP.

THE GRIEVING PROCESS FOR A CHRONIC ILLNESS AND HOW TO OVERCOME IT. People go through a mourning process once they are diagnosed with a chronic illness because the things they could do before, they might not be able to do now. Your old life is dead, and you mourn it as you go on with your new life. This article will help with that.

SUICIDE AND CHRONIC ILLNESS. This is an important article because a lot of people with chronic illnesses go through depression. It's important to know when to ask for help and this article is to help prevent more suicides because of chronic illnesses.

LOSING A LOVED ONE TO A CHRONIC ILLNESS AND HOW TO HANDLE THE GRIEF. I've lost a lot of friends because of complications due to their chronic illnesses. This article will help you on how to handle grief in a healthy way. Death is a part of life. Just please know when you need to ask for help.

Source: A friend of mine made these a few years ago for Gastroparesis Awareness Month in August.

Friday, October 27, 2017

New Neuro-Stim Device Lessened Abdominal Pain in Adolescents

I found this article and I thought it was really interesting. It might be a viable, possible treatment for people with gastroparesis. I am not familiar with it, so I apologize for the long article, but I wanted to share it and add it to my blog so that I can reference it later. It makes me happy that doctors are trying to find different treatments to help with gastroparesis and abdominal pain. It is a good step in the right direction. It will also help with pain from fibromyalgia and possibly for migraines as well. I know that it does not work for everyone.
However, I wanted to share the article anyway, to keep it in once place in my blog. Even though it may not work for everyone, I thought it was worth sharing and worth documenting in my blog for future research. The article is below.

"Electrical nerve stimulation introduces a potential non-pharmacologic treatment to address pain in adolescent patients who present with functional gastrointestinal pain disorders.
By Megan Garlapow, PhD With Adrian Miranda, MD, and Gary W. Jay, MD

Administering percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation (PENFS) with Neuro-Stim, a FDA-cleared device manufactured by Innovative Health Solutions, in an adolescent population whose primary complaint was gastrointestinal pain, appeared to lessen subjective pain scores, according to findings published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The researchers were able to demonstrate that abdominal pain—the primary efficacy outcome of a difference from baseline to treatment—improved significantly in patients who underwent PENFS applied to the ear, as compared to those who had the sham treatment.1 The PENFS device must be applied by a licensed clinician.


Nerve stimulation device lessens gastrointestinal pain in teens; Efficacy Achieved Using Neuro-Stim for Gastrointestinal Pain

A randomized clinical trial in which 115 pediatric patients, ranging in age from 11-18 years old, who presented with abdominal pain related to a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder were treated at a single, out-patient clinic in the midwest.1

'We had heard about similar [favorable] results in other chronic pain conditions, but most results were from anecdotal reports,' said senior author Adrian Miranda, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist and associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, 'We had to carry out a randomized controlled trial to properly assess the findings,' for GI pain.

More importantly, our preclinical studies demonstrated a reduction in the firing of neurons in the amygdala and spinal cord using the same technology,2 Dr. Miranda told Practical Pain Management, 'These central areas have been proposed by many to play a critical role in the development and maintenance of chronic pain.'

Functional abdominal pain disorders are a group of conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal migraine, and functional abdominal pain syndrome, in which pain is typically the most prominent complaint and symptoms are not caused by other conditions.

Study Design and Methodology

Patients were enrolled in the trial between June 2015 and November 2016. Researchers administered the non-invasive PENFS procedure via the external ear (n = 60) or a sham with no electrical stimulation (n = 55) for four weeks. The procedure was initiated with the intent to modulate central pain pathways. Patients were randomized equally to each arm with stratification based on sex, and presence or absence of nausea. Patients, caregivers, and researchers were blinded to allocation by group.

An outcomes analysis included 57 patients in the PENFS arm and 47 patients in the sham group after patients were excluded for discontinuation of treatment or for having organic disease.1

The primary efficacy endpoint—change in baseline reported abdominal pain—was assessed with the Pain Frequency Severity Duration Scale (PFSD), a subjective tool used to derive a quantifiable pain score in these young participants.1 The researchers used PFSD scores to assess improvements from the worst abdominal pain score as well as from a composite abdominal pain score.

Reduced GI Pain Was Sustained Following Neurostimulation

After three weeks of treatment, patients in the PENFS arm experienced a greater decrease in worst pain compared with patients in the sham arm (median score PENFS 5.0, IQR 4.0 - 7.0; sham 7.0, 5.0 - 9.0). The least-square means estimate of change in worst pain was 2.15 (95% CI: 1.37 - 2.93, P < .0001).1 Median composite scores of PFSD also decreased significantly in the PENFS arm, from 24.5 (IQR 16.8-33.3) to 8.4 (3.2-16.2), compared to the sham arm, which went from 22.8 (8.4-38.2) to 15.2 (4.4-36.8).1 Both worst pain and composite pain effects were reported for a median of 9.2 weeks during follow-up.1 The median worst pain was 2.0 points lower at follow-up in the PENFS arm but only 0.5 points lower in the sham arm (P < .0001). In addition, median composite pain at follow-up was 12.5 points lower in the PENFS arm compared to 6.0 points lower in the sham arm (P=.018). 'I know that ultra-high frequency can cause specific neurochemical changes that decrease pain,' said Dr. Gary W. Jay, MD, a clinical professor in the Headache Division in the Department of Neurology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 'While I can at least get some idea as to why the reported pain decreased from this study, we don’t know what the parameters of electronic stimulation were, and they’ve done no testing other than filling out subjective forms, Dr. Jay told Practical Pain Management. Need for Further Understanding of Longterm Benefits

Dr. Miranda shared some additional information on how persistent this therapy might be at reducing abdominal pain.

'I have patients whose symptoms have resolved and are six months out of treatment while others have recurrence at five months,' he said, 'and it may be that a second treatment is needed for those who have recurrence, or perhaps a longer initial trial of six weeks would be required to prevent relapse.'

'It’s too early to tell, and certainly longitudinal studies need to be done,' Dr. Miranda said, 'Perhaps in the future, this therapy can be combined with imaging techniques to better predict the phenotype that will respond to treatment.'

Dr. Jay concurred with the need for imaging studies, particularly as PFSD is susceptible to issues surrounding subjective measurements. Objective, physiological measurements could yield meaningful insights into the biological basis of the results achieved in this study, according to Dr. Jay. He also noted that the study did not provide sufficient detail about the methodology used to employ electrical stimulation.

'The researchers are not giving us any parameters of what they are doing, and they are also not looking at whether there are any physiological changes occurring,' said Dr. Jay. 'You would want to do functional MRIs to see exactly what is this stimulation is doing.'

Conclusions and Future Directions

Dr. Miranda expects transcranial electrical stimulation to hold promise for additional pain disorders.

'I think we have just started to uncover the possibilities of neuromodulation, using peripheral electrical stimulation. The implications for this type of non-invasive neuromodulatory therapy holds promise beyond just functional pain disorders, in my opinion,' said Dr. Miranda, 'and if you think about the central mechanisms that are involved in chronic pain, there is really no reason why this technology couldn’t be applied to many pain disorders.'

Dr. Jay agreed that neuromodulatory electrical stimulation has the potential to improve other disorders characterized by pain.

'Given that some of the animal studies show amygdala or limbic system involvement secondary to the stimulation, which would make sense in certain disorders, I would want to see trials that at this aspect. The limbic system is very highly incorporated into another so-called functional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia,' he told Practical Pain Management.

Dr. Miranda explained the need for creating distinct therapeutic regimens for individual patients and emphasized the importance of understanding which components could form the foundation for such a regimen, including pharmacotherapy, physical reconditioning, and neuromodulation.

'We need to figure out who our responders are for each treatment and tailor our approach for each patient. There is not one treatment that will work for all patients,' said Dr. Miranda. 'Yet we don’t always discuss these components of treatment with our patients because of time constraints, lack of resources, or issues with insurance coverage,' Dr. Miranda said.

The American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society funded this research. The authors have no other disclosures.

Kovacic K, Hainsworth K, Sood M, Chelimsky G, Unteutsch R, Nugent M, Simpson P, Miranda A. Neurostimulation for abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders in adolescents: a randomised, double-blind, sham-controlled trial. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017;S2468-1253(17:)30253-30254.
Babygirija R, Sood M, Kannampalli P, Sengupta JN, Miranda A. Percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation modulates central pain pathways and attenuates post-inflammatory visceral and somatic hyperalgesia in rats. Neuroscience. 2017;25;356:11-21."

I have another article that I have researched and written on the vagus nerve. You can find it here:

There is another article I wrote about the vagus nerve stimulator, which can be found here:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Thrush and Gastroparesis

Thrush is terrible. I have had it on my tongue and down my esophagus, and I'm not the only one. People in my support groups have had the same. I wanted to look up why this happens more frequently to Gastroparesis Warriors. I mean, I know why thrush happens. It is caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your body.

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According to Healthline (,

"Esophageal Thrush (Candida Esophagitis)
Written by April Kahn and Rachel Nall
Medically Reviewed by Nancy Choi, MD on August 17, 2017

What is esophageal thrush?

Esophageal thrush is a yeast infection of the esophagus. The condition is also known as esophageal candidiasis.
Fungi in the family Candida cause esophageal thrush. There are about 20 species of Candida that can cause the condition, but it’s usually caused by Candida albicans.


How does esophageal thrush develop?

Traces of the fungus Candida are normally present on the surface of your skin and within your body. Normally, your immune system can regulate these good and bad organisms in your body. Sometimes, though, a shift in the balance between the Candida and your healthy bacteria can cause the yeast to overgrow and develop into an infection.

Risk factors:

Who is at risk?

If you’re healthy, it’s unlikely you will develop this condition. People with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV, AIDS, or cancer, and older adults are at a higher risk. Having AIDS is the most common underlying risk factor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 percent of all people with cancer develop the condition.

People with diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing esophageal thrush, especially if their sugar levels are not well controlled. If you have diabetes, there’s often too much sugar present in your saliva. The sugar allows the yeast to thrive. More importantly, uncontrolled diabetes also hurts your immune system, which allows for candida to thrive.

Babies who are born vaginally can develop oral thrush if their mothers had a yeast infection during delivery. Infants can also develop oral thrush from breastfeeding if their mother’s nipples are infected. Developing esophageal thrush this way is uncommon.
There are other risk factors that make someone more likely to develop this condition.

You’re more at risk if you:
wear dentures or partials
take certain medications, such as antibiotics
use a steroid inhaler for conditions like asthma
have a dry mouth
eat lots of sugary foods
have a chronic disease


The symptoms of esophageal thrush include:

white lesions on the lining of your esophagus that may look like cottage cheese and may bleed if they’re scraped
pain or discomfort when swallowing
dry mouth
difficulty swallowing
weight loss
chest pain

It’s also possible for esophageal thrush to spread to the inside of your mouth and become oral thrush.

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The symptoms of oral thrush include:

creamy white patches on the inside of the cheeks and on surface of the tongue
white lesions on the roof of your mouth, tonsils, and gums
cracking in the corner of your mouth
Breastfeeding moms can experience Candida infection of the nipples, which they can pass on to their babies.

The symptoms include:
especially red, sensitive, cracking, or itchy nipples
stabbing pains felt deep within the breast
significant pain when nursing or pain between nursing sessions

If you experience these conditions, you should watch your baby for signs of infection. While babies can’t say if they’re feeling bad, they may become more fussy and irritable. They can also have the distinctive white lesions associated with thrush.

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Esophageal thrush: Testing and diagnosis:

If your doctor suspects you might have esophageal thrush, they will do an endoscopic exam.
Endoscopic exam

During this exam, your doctor looks down your throat using an endoscope. This is a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at the end. This tube can also be lowered into your stomach or intestines to check the extent of the infection.

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Treating esophageal thrush:

The goals of treating esophageal thrush are to kill the fungus and prevent it from spreading.

Esophageal thrush warrants systemic antifungal therapy, and an antifungal medication, such as itraconazole, will likely be prescribed. This prevents the fungus from spreading and works to eliminate it from the body. The medication can come in a variety of forms, such as tablets, lozenges, or a liquid that you can swish in your mouth like mouthwash and then swallow.

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If your infection is slightly more severe, you may receive an antifungal medication called fluconazole delivered intravenously in the hospital.

People with late-stage HIV might need a stronger medication, such as amphotericin B. Most importantly, treating the HIV is important for controlling the esophageal thrush.

If your esophageal thrush has compromised your ability to eat, your doctor may discuss nutritional options with you. This can include high-protein shakes if you can tolerate them or alternative feeding options, such as a gastric tube in severe situations.

Preventing esophageal thrush:

You can reduce your risk of developing esophageal thrush in the following ways:

Eat yogurt whenever you take antibiotics.
Treat vaginal yeast infections.
Practice good oral hygiene.
Go to your dentist for regular checkups.
Limit the amount of sugary foods you eat.
Limit the amount of foods you eat that contain yeast.

Even though those with HIV and AIDS are at greater risk for esophageal thrush, doctors rarely prescribe preventive antifungal medicines. The yeast could become resistant to treatments. If you have HIV or AIDS, you can reduce your risk of an esophageal thrush infection by taking prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications.

Future health complications:

The risk for complications after the development of esophageal thrush is higher in people with comprised immune systems. These complications include thrush that spreads to other areas of the body and an inability to swallow.

If you have a compromised immune system, it’s very important to seek treatment for thrush as soon as you notice symptoms. Thrush can easily spread to other parts of your body, including your:

heart valves
By receiving treatment as quickly as possible, you can reduce the likelihood that thrush will spread.

Outlook for esophageal thrush:

Esophageal thrush can be painful. If it’s left untreated, it can become a severe and even life-threatening condition. At the first signs of oral thrush or esophageal thrush, talk to your doctor. Esophageal thrush is highly prone to spreading. The more areas of the body affected, the more severe the infection can be. Medications are available to treat esophageal thrush, including antifungal medicines. Prompt and careful treatment can reduce your pain and discomfort.

Candida infection. (2014).
Candidiasis: (Thrush). (2014).
Oral thrush: Symptoms. (2014).
Oropharyngeal/esophageal candidiasis (thrush). (2014).
Copyright © 2005 - 2018 Healthline Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. Healthline is for informational purposes and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment recommendations."

Image Credit:>

According to Medical News Today (https://www.medicalnewstoda,

Oral Thrush: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
By Christian Nordqvist
Reviewed by University of Illinois-Chicago, School of Medicine

"Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a yeast/fungi infection of the genus Candida that develops on the mucous membranes of the mouth.

It is most commonly caused by the fungus Candida albicans, but may also be caused by Candida glabrata or Candida tropicalis.

In this article, we will cover all aspects of oral thrush, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Contents of this article:

Risk factors
Fast facts on oral thrush
Here are some key points about oral thrush. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

Oral thrush is a common condition, but for most, it does not cause major problems

Individuals with a reduced immune system are worst affected by oral thrush

Oral thrush can occur more regularly after chemotherapy or radiotherapy to the head and neck

It is more common in people who are taking steroids, wear dentures, or have diabetes
The most obvious symptom of oral thrush is creamy or white-colored deposits in the mouth

What is oral thrush?

Oral thrush is caused by species of Candida fungus.

Oral thrush causes thick white or cream-colored deposits, most commonly on the tongue or inner cheeks. The lesions can be painful and may bleed slightly when they are scraped. The infected mucosa (membrane) of the mouth may appear inflamed and red.

Oral thrush can sometimes spread to the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat.

For the majority of individuals, oral thrush does not cause any serious problems. However, this is not the case for people with a weakened immune system, whose signs and symptoms may be much more severe.

People with poorly controlled diabetes, those taking steroids (especially long-term), as well as individuals who wear dentures, have a higher risk of developing oral thrush with more severe symptoms.

Long-term antibiotic therapy can increase the risk of developing oral thrush. Some medications, especially those that dry out the mouth, can cause oral thrush to develop. Oral thrush is more common among patients who receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy to the head and neck.

The outcome for oral thrush is generally very good. Most people respond well to treatment. However, oral thrush tends to reappear, especially if the causal factor (smoking, for instance) is not removed.

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Causes of oral thrush:

Tiny quantities of Candida fungus exist in various parts of our body, including the digestive system, skin, and mouth, causing virtually no problems to healthy individuals. In fact, C. albicans is carried in the mouths of up to 75 percent of the world's population.

However, people on certain medications, with reduced immune systems, or certain medical conditions are susceptible to oral thrush when C. albicans grows out control.

Symptoms of oral thrush:

Oral thrush in adults generally appears as thick, white or cream-colored deposits (spots) on the mucous membrane of the mouth (wet parts of the inside of the mouth).

The mucosa (mucous membrane) may appear swollen and slightly red. The spots may be raised. There may be discomfort or a burning sensation.

If the cream or white-colored deposits are scraped, bleeding may occur.

The white spots may join together to form larger ones, also known as plaques; these may then take on a grayish or yellowish color.

Occasionally, the affected area simply becomes red and sore, with no detectable white spots.

Individuals who wear dentures may have areas that are constantly red and swollen under a denture. Poor oral hygiene, or not taking the dentures out before going to sleep may increase the risk.

Oral thrush is sometimes divided into three groups based on appearance, although the condition can sometimes sit between categories:

A Doctor checks a patient's throat
Oral thrush is typically diagnosed after an oral examination.
Pseudomembranous - the classic and most common version of oral thrush.
Erythematous (atrophic) - the condition appears red raw rather than white.
Hyperplastic - also referred to as "plaque-like candidiasis" or "nodular candidiasis" due to the presence of a hard to remove solid white plaque. This is the least common variant; it is most often seen in patients with HIV.

There are a number of other lesions that can also appear with oral thrush. Sometimes, these lesions might be due to other types of bacteria that are also present in the area.

These can include:

Angular cheilitis - inflammation and/or splitting in the corners of the mouth
Median rhomboid glossitis - a large, red, painless mark in the center of the tongue
Linear gingival erythema - a band of inflammation running across the gums

Treatment of oral thrush:

Doctors will usually prescribe anti-thrush drugs, such as nystatin or miconazole in the form of drops, gel, or lozenges. Alternatively, the patient may be prescribed a topical oral suspension which is washed around the mouth and then swallowed.

Oral or intravenously administered antifungals may be the choice for patients with weakened immune systems. If treatment is not working, amphotericin B may be used; however, this will only be used as a last resort due to the negative side effects which include fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Risk factors for oral thrush:

Adult oral thrush is more likely to become a problem for the following groups:

People who wear dentures - especially if they are not kept clean, do not fit properly, or are not taken out before going to sleep.

Antibiotics - people who are on antibiotics have a higher risk of developing oral thrush. Antibiotics may destroy the bacteria that prevent the Candida from growing out of control.

Excessive mouthwash use - individuals who overuse antibacterial mouthwashes may also destroy bacteria which keep Candida at bay, thus increasing the risk of developing oral thrush.

Steroid medication - long-term use of steroid medication can increase the risk of oral thrush.

Weakened immune system - people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop oral thrush.

Diabetes - people with diabetes, especially if it is poorly controlled, are more likely to have oral thrush.

Dry mouth - people with less than normal quantities of saliva (xerostomia) are more prone to oral thrush.

Diet - malnutrition predisposes people to oral thrush; this could be caused by a poor diet or a disease that affects the absorption of nutrients. In particular, diets low in iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid appear to affect infection rates.

Smoking - heavy smokers are more at risk, the reasons behind this are unclear.

Diagnosis of oral thrush:

In the vast majority of cases, the doctor can diagnose oral thrush by looking into the patient's mouth and asking some questions about symptoms.

The doctor may scrape some tissue from the inside of the mouth for analysis.

If the doctor believes the oral thrush is being caused by a medication or some other underlying cause, that cause must be dealt with. Treatments in such cases depend on the underlying cause.

Amphotericin B (intravenous route, injection route). (2015, December 1). Retrieved from

Awatif Y. Al-Maskari, Masoud Y. Al-Maskari, Salem Al-Sudairy. (2011, May). Oral manifestations and complications of diabetes mellitus. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 11(2): 179–186. Retrieved from

Fran├žois L. Mayer, Duncan Wilson, Bernhard Hube. (2013, February 15). Candida albicans pathogenicity mechanisms. Virulence. 4(2): 119–128. Retrieved from

Oral thrush in adults. (2014, August 14). Retrieved from

Oropharyngeal/esophageal candidiasis ("thrush"). (2014, February 2013). Retrieved from

Treatments for oral thrush. (2014, August 14). Retrieved from

I also found some natural recipes to help with thrush until you can see your doctor:

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I had a suspicion that my Gastroparesis was causing it, with all of vomiting, but had no idea that other chronic illnesses caused this. So, I think the constant vomiting of stomach acid brought on mine. It probably did through off my pH. I learned a lot of new things today and I hope it well help others.