Gastroparesis (gastro= stomach, paresis=paralyzed) is a severe disorder that leads to poor stomach emptying. It leads to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or weight loss. Typically, it is due to damage to the nerves or muscle of the gut. Most causes are related to nerve damage (neuropathy) from diabetes, after major stomach surgery, or for unknown (called idiopathic) reasons.
Treatment focuses mostly on symptom management with antinauseants (usually multiple) and by using drugs to help empty the stomach called prokinetics (usually multiple). In severe cases, Neurostimulation may be used for symptom control. Sometimes feeding tubes are used to bypass the stomach to ensure sufferers can maintain nutrition and hydration.
The outlook for people with gastroparesis is improving due to ongoing research in the field. Our understanding of this disorder has advanced significantly in the last decade, with new medications and treatments under study.
Useful resources for gastroparesis include the Gastroparesis and Dysmotilities Association
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