Gastroparesis: 101

Hey guys! Today is another disease information post! This one is all about Gastroparesis. This is something that wasn’t commonly known for a long time, and now it is slowly but surely starting to get more and more “popular”. When I was between the ages of 6 and 8, I watched my cousin/godfather deteriorate rapidly as this disease slowly took his life. No doctor really knew what it was, so no one could really help.

Gastroparesis is “a condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying”. Essentially, it paralyses the flap that opens up so that food can go down your throat into you stomach, and not into your windpipe. With this being said, if that flap isn’t opening and closing, then food cannot get into your stomach. Therefore, you aren’t getting the nutrients that are needed.

There are fewer than 200,000 cases per year, and they have yet to find a cure for it. This requires a medical diagnosis, and often needs lab testing or imaging required to diagnose it. It’s a chronic disease that can last for years or be lifelong. It mainly affects those between the ages of 19 through 60 and older.

Symptoms include the following;

pain in the abdomen

nausea

belching

bloating

heartburn

indigestion

regurgitation

vomiting

feeling full sooner than normal

and loss of appetite

Now while there isn’t a cure for the disease, there are a few treatments. Those are;

diet modification

gut motility simulator

medications that may offer some relief

or a feeding tube to give one the nutrients that one needs.

Now there isn’t a lot on this disease, even now that doctors are starting to learn more and more about it. One thing I do know though, this is a disease that isn’t something to joke around with. This is not something you want to watch anyone you love go through. This disease is awful. It’s almost as bad, if not worse, than cancer. I’ve seen someone go through both diseases, and I don’t know which one is worse. If you know anyone or have this disease, leave a comment below. I would love to talk to some people who have this, and learn as much as I can about it.

(All the information above is from Mayo Clinic.)

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