Cleveland Clinic defines gastroparesis as “a disease in which the stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion.” The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), explains that the word gastroparesis literally means “stomach paralysis” when translated.
Dyspepsia is a group of symptoms most commonly associated with this disease that includes bloating, nausea, heartburn, epigastric pain and feeling full fast even while still eating a meal or shortly after. ACG also suggests that eating certain solid foods that are high in fiber such as “raw fruits and vegetables, fatty foods or drinks high in fat or carbonation may cause symptoms.” Some people may also experience regurgitation of undigested food several hours after eating and weight loss can also occur due to caloric loss and the poor absorption of nutrients.
ACG points to diabetes as the most common cause for gastroparesis. However, other causes may include hypothyroidism, infections, connective tissue disorders, autoimmune conditions, neuromuscular diseases, eating disorders, certain cancers, radiation treatment over the chest and abdomen, certain chemotherapy agents, or surgery to the upper intestinal tract.
The diagnosis and treatment of gastroparesis does depend on the cause. The most important thing to do is to not ignore the symptoms and to seek medical treatment instead of home remedies which can often do more harm. Lifestyle changes to include dietary restrictions and substitutions may be necessary. However, these changes should always be under the guidance of your healthcare provider. You may walk-in to any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, or you may schedule an appointment by visiting our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.