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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Gastroparesis

Frequently Asked Questions about Gastroparesis


1. What is Gastroparesis?

The Mayo Clinic defines Gastroparesis as, “Gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscles in your stomach don't function normally. Ordinarily, strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But in gastroparesis, the muscles in the wall of your stomach work poorly or not at all. This prevents your stomach from emptying properly. Gastroparesis can interfere with digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition.”

Link found here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastroparesis/DS00612




2. How do you get Gastroparesis?

The Mayo Clinic Writes, “It's not always clear what leads to Gastroparesis. But in many cases, Gastroparesis is believed to be caused by damage to a nerve that controls the stomach muscles (vagus nerve). Other possible causes are abdominal surgery, Diabetes, Idiopathic (no known cause), a virus, and being born with a stomach that function properly. It can also be cause by narcotics because they can slow down motility.” On a personal note, mine was due to a stomach virus. I was in the hospital for eight days.

Link can be found: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastroparesis/DS00612/DSECTION=causes



3. What are the signs and symptoms of Gastroparesis?

The Mayo Clinic states that,
“Signs and Symptoms of Gastroparesis:
Early Satiety (feeling full after just a few bites)
Heartburn
weight loss
weight gain
Abdominal bloating
Abdominal pain
Diarrhea
Constipation
Erratic blood glucose levels (mainly in diabetes)
Lack of appetite
Gastric reflux
Spasms of the stomach wall
Chronic nausea
Vomiting (often of undigested food)
Inability to tolerate dietary fats.”

Link can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/basics/symptoms/con-20023971



4. How do you treat Gastroparesis?

The Mayo Clinic writes, “Treating gastroparesis begins with identifying and treating the underlying condition. For instance, if diabetes is causing your gastroparesis, your doctor can work with you to help you control your diabetes.”

I have written a blog entry on how to cope with emotional and physical pain of Gastroparesis. Here is an excerpt,

“This is a question that I've been asked a lot. I have been doubled over in pain, with no relief in sight. So, how do I cope and what do I do to make the pain easier to handle?”


You can find the ways to treat Gastroparesis here, without narcotics. Link here: http://emilysstomach.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-cope-with-gpdtp-pain-emotionally.html

This link will also help you if other treatments don’t seem to work: http://emilysstomach.blogspot.com/2013/04/what-can-be-done-when-gastroparesis.html

This link will help you with natural remedies for pain around the house: http://emilysstomach.blogspot.com/2013/04/painkillers-in-your-kitchen-alternative.html





5. Can you die from Gastroparesis?

Yes. If it gets severe enough people can get very malnourished and without proper treatment options and proper nutrition people can die from complications from Gastroparesis. Gastroparesis alone cannot kill you but it can do horrible things to your body if you are starving.

Link: http://emilysstomach.blogspot.com/2012/10/18-year-dies-from-gastroparesis.html





6. Does Gastroparesis go away?

The only way Gastroparesis will go away is when it’s been caused by narcotics or medication. Nerve damage and muscle damage is typically permanent.

See webMd on nerve damage: http://www.webmd.com/brain/nerve-pain-and-nerve-damage-symptoms-and-causes





7. Is there a cure for Gastroparesis?

The Mayo Clinic says, “There is no cure for gastroparesis. Making changes to your diet may help you cope with gastroparesis signs and symptoms, but that's not always enough. Gastroparesis medications may offer some relief, but some can cause serious side effects.” You have to eat low fiber and low fat foods. I have several gastroparesis friendly recipes on Pinterest and also juicing recipes: www.pinterest.com/chikensrule


Link found here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastroparesis/DS00612



8. What should you need to know after being diagnosed with Gastroparesis?

I know that when I was finally diagnosed in March of 2012, I did two things that really helped me. The first thing I did was start this blog. I started it to keep track of my medical information, visits, testing, and everything else that I wouldn't remember later. My main goal was to help people through my own experiences so that maybe they wouldn't repeat things that I have done in the past like listening to bad advice from doctors. I was put on two medications that actually did the same things AND they slowed down motility! I also know that through my research, there's not really a whole lot on the internet about Gastroparesis or support groups. So, I made this entry to put all of my research in one place for people who may need support groups. My article with online resources has since been used by United Healthcare as an electronic resource for GP/DTP.

More ideas can be found on the link here: http://emilysstomach.blogspot.com/2013/04/advice-for-newly-diagnosed-with-gpdtp.html

Also, here: http://www.emilysstomach.com/2013/04/youve-been-diagnosed-with-gastroparesis.html






9. What is the Gastroparesis Diet?

The Gastroparesis Diet can be found here: http://www.emilysstomach.com/2014/01/the-gastroparesis-diet.html




10. Is there more than one type of Gastroparesis?

Yes, there are! There are two types of Gastroparesis. The first is idiopathic gastroparesis, which means the doctors are not sure what caused it. The next one is diabetic gastroparesis, where diabetic neuropathy or other causes can trigger gastroparesis by damaging the vagas nerve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagus_nerve).

Link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastroparesis



11. Where can I find assistance to help me with finances with Gastroparesis?

I have compiled a list of financial ideas for those currently struggling with money for treatments with the help of the Emily's Stomach's Facebook Page. The blog entry has links in all caps that you can click on that will take you to that page.


The link is: http://emilysstomach.blogspot.com/2013/04/financial-assistance-ideas.html



12. Why are the Gastroparesis colors green and yellow?

As taken from G-PACT’s Facebook Page: From G-PACT's Facebook Page:

"Most people think that green and yellow became the colors for DTP because green is associated with nausea, vomit, bile, and a greenish appearance when sick. Actually, G-PACT places a stronger meaning behind the colors. We gave them a lot of consideration when we selected them to be the official colors for our use to represent gastroparesis. They represent how we want patients to see the future and what we are all trying to accomplish with hope, strength and growth towards better treatment options. We have seen a lot of growth in this field since our founding in August of 2001, so the green is appropriate. Why?

Green indicates growth. We are growing towards a cure and awareness and research is growing. It's a color of hope. When things start turning green outside it indicates the end of the cold, long, dark days of winter. The first sign of green plants and grass indicates we are coming out of a time if darkness and coldness and entering a phase of growth and brightness. It is a color that shows brighter and beautiful days are ahead. There is something really encouraging when you see that first blade of green grass or green leaf peaking [sic] through after months of brown fields, trees, and no growth.

G-PACT is a grassroots organization meaning that we started with a small handful of patients who were coming out of a period where there was very little knowledge and very little hope towards any kind of understanding or a cure. We knew something needed to be done to provide services to patients to get through the tough times now, and provide hope as we also fight for awareness and research and help bring about greater understanding into this condition. Our initial motto was "Striving towards brighter days of treatment, knowledge, and a cure." We have grown into a much larger scale, now making an international impact and have provided hope to so many as they try to cope until we do find the cure.

Yellow was also an important color for us. Our logo is a sun to indicate hope and a brighter future ahead. The sun is a crucial factor that helps the plants grow. It brightens the days and brings with it the nutrients, strength, and oxygen needed to supply the plants with what they need to be able to grow and thrive."