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Gastroparesis is a stomach disorder that results due to a complication of Diabetes called neuropathy. When there is nerve damage, sensation to the stomach muscles reduce and these cause the stomach to empty too slowly.
Gastroparesis could occur in people without diabetes but it is a common occurrence in persons living with diabetes especially type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes do not develop gastroparesis until they have had diabetes for a long time about 20 years. Women appear to be more likely to get gastroparesis than men.
The most important factor in preventing gastroparesis is good blood glucose control. These are for two major reasons:
- High levels of blood glucose directly slow stomach emptying.
- Good diabetes control slows or prevent the development of complications, including nerve disease called neuropathy.
Symptoms of Gastroparesis
The most common symptoms includes:
- Abdominal pain
- Periods of lows within 1 to 2 hours of eating . others include:
- Feeling full after eating
- Getting full quickly
- Belching after eating
- Pain in the general area of the stomach
- Upset stomach
- Gastroesophageal reflux.
In addition to history and physical examination, the doctor can request the following diagnostic tests:
2. Radioisotope breath test
The overall treatment goal is aimed at improving blood glucose control, normalizing stomach emptying so that drugs and food absorb properly, and relieving symptoms.
The following multilevel approach is involved:
1. Diabetes Control
Controlling the blood glucose is the foremost treatment measure.
It is important to understand that several small meals are easier for the stomach to process than few large ones. The diet should be low in fat because fat slows stomach emptying. Vegetable consumption in our meals should be encouraged.
Moderate exercise after eating, studies shows can improve stomach emptying.
4. Review of drugs
The doctor might review a persons drug to remove or change those with side effects of slow stomach emptying also there is the need to cut out alcohol and tobacco.
5. Drug treatment
The doctor may prescribe some range of drugs example
- Prokinetic drugs: to increase stomach activity.
- Antiemetic drugs: to prevent vomiting.
One such drug which has both of these property approved by FDA is metoclopramide.
Other treatment options includes:
2. Electrical stimulation
3. Electrical pacing.