Gastroparesis …

GP Awareness Ribbon 2Gastroparesis literally translate to “paralyzed stomach.” The Reader’s Digest version is if someone with Gastroparesis eats a meal, it will either take a long time to digest or it just sits in the stomach and will not digest. Because of this, the following symptoms usually occur:

  • upper abdominal pain
  • not feeling hungry
  • abdominal bloating
  • early appetite satisfactions
  • abdominal spasms
  • erratic blood glucose levels
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • reflux
  • weight loss
  • weight gain

Every person diagnosed with Gastroparesis has a different degree of severity and cause. Usually, damage to the Vagus Nerve or Diabetes are the major causes of this debilitating disease. Others have what is called Idiopathic Gastroparesis, which is an arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause. There is no found reason as to why the stomach stopped working in this case. Doctors can guess, but there is no way to test to confirm these theories, yet.

A doctor at the Cleveland Clinic has said that a third of patients diagnosed with Gastroparesis will get worse; a third of people will manage to plateau and live with it on a roller coaster throughout life; and a third of people will actually get better. There is no cure for this condition, just symptom management at this time.

There are not great odds, but with awareness and more research we hope and pray that one day someone will find a cure for this rare, invisible illness.

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