Gastroparesis: Do You Have This Stomach Problem?

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Gastroparesis: Do You Have This Stomach Problem?

If you feel full or struggle with indigestion, nausea, and other symptoms immediately after eating small meals, you could have gastroparesis. Gastroparesis occurs when the stomach muscle doesn't work as efficiently as it should. Your food doesn't digest properly, which can lead to various symptoms over time. Learn about gastroparesis and whether or not you have it below.

What's Gastroparesis and How Does It Happen?

In order for your body to properly and safely process the food you eat, food must first travel through your stomach. Your stomach's unique muscular shape allows it to contract and pulverize solid food into soft, easily digestible mush. If the contractions produced by your stomach slow down or fail to occur, the organ can't break down food. This condition is known as gastroparesis, or paralysis of the stomach muscle.

Gastroparesis can be difficult for adults and children, especially people who have diabetes, nerve damage, or another condition that affects the muscle's ability to contract and respond to stimuli. Some drugs and medications can also disrupt the stomach's functions. Cancer patients and individuals with tumors of the digestive system may also experience gastroparesis over time. Individuals who develop gastroparesis can experience a number of troublesome symptoms.

Gastroparesis can make your stomach feel full right away. You may feel sick to your stomach after eating. You may even involuntarily regurgitate, or throw up, some of your food later on in the day or evening, depending on when you consumed your last meal. Until you treat your gastroparesis, your symptoms will continue to occur on a regular basis.

What Can You Do About Gastroparesis and Its Symptoms?

Treating gastroparesis isn't something individuals can do at home. A gastroenterologist, or doctor who treats ailments of the digestive system, can provide the treatments you need for your condition. However, a doctor must first determine why you have gastroparesis before they can discuss your treatment options.

A doctor may take radiographs of your stomach to determine the cause of your condition. If radiographs aren't sufficient enough to diagnose your condition properly, a doctor may perform tests on your small intestine, liver, and other organs of the digestive system. If there's a blockage, infection, or obstruction in these organs, it may affect your stomach as well.

After a physician determines why you have gastroparesis, they'll discuss your treatments. The treatments for paralysis of the stomach may include surgery and medication therapy. A gastroenterologist will provide additional information about your treatments after they complete your exams.

For more information on gastroparesis and how it's treated, contact a doctor of gastroenterology today.

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