9 Symptoms Of Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the muscles and nerves around the stomach and prevents the stomach from properly digesting food. Normally, when food enters the stomach, the muscles contract, which churns and breaks up the food into smaller particles. Then, the food can pass into the small intestine. When the muscle contractions around the stomach are weakened, the food doesn’t get broken up thoroughly or empty into the small intestine. This can lead to a wide variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

Diseases of the stomach muscles can sometimes cause gastroparesis. The condition can also be caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which controls the contractions of the stomach muscles. The vagus nerve can become damaged during surgery or as a result of another health condition. Other causes of gastroparesis include potassium or magnesium imbalances, medication side effects, and thyroid disease. The cause of the condition is unknown in many patients, though. To diagnose gastroparesis, patients usually undergo a gastric emptying study, which measures the amount of time it takes for food to empty into the intestine. Once you’re diagnosed, you and your doctor can develop a treatment plan. However, many people with the condition never see a doctor because they believe they just have indigestion. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of gastroparesis, so you can see a doctor if you think you may have the condition. Here are nine of the most common symptoms:

1. Vomiting

Vomiting is one of the most common and most unpleasant symptoms of gastroparesis. Not everyone with the condition has a problem with vomiting, but it can be an extremely troubling symptom when it does occur. Vomiting typically happens within a few hours of eating a meal because the stomach isn’t able to churn and mix the food. However, people with severe gastroparesis may vomit without eating when secretions accumulate in the stomach.

In some cases, vomiting can lead to serious complications. If it happens multiple times per day, you could become dehydrated, which can cause fatigue, dizziness, confusion, shock, or coma. Dehydration is a common reason people with gastroparesis require hospitalization. If you can’t keep fluids down, you may need IV fluids and electrolyte replacement to prevent the dangerous complications of dehydration. Malnutrition is also common in people with gastroparesis, partially because of frequent vomiting. When you vomit after most meals, your body can’t absorb enough calories or nutrients to keep you healthy. Frequent vomiting leads to an overall decrease in quality of life. It can make it difficult to go to work or keep up with your other responsibilities. Social events often involve food and eating, which can make people with gastroparesis feel isolated. Treatment for the condition usually focuses on reducing vomiting, which makes it easier to eat enough to stay healthy.