Gastroparesis is a neuro-muscular abnormality that causes delayed gastric emptying which, in turn, causes a premature full feeling while eating, bloating, nausea, acid reflux, regurgitation, belching, and occasional vomiting. It is a co-morbid condition associated with ME/CFS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and several other diseases.
Gastroparesis may be precipitated by a viral illness such as Epstein-Barr virus or a viral infection that causes gastroenteritis or the “stomach flu." Studies have implicated an immune dysfunction, as well as, a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system as part of the pathophysiology. It can, also, result when the vagus nerve is damaged by illness or injury. Seventy to eighty percent of individuals with primary gastroparesis are young women.
There is no cure, at present, for gastroparesis, so the primary treatment is to manage symptoms with: pro-motility medications, acid-suppressing medications, antacids, and anti-nausea medications if needed. Diet, also, plays a large role in symptom control. In particular, avoid high fat and high fiber foods, eat small portions throughout the day, and use liquid food supplements.
Gastroparesis is frequently misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but the chief difference is where the distress is occurring. Gastroparesis refers to a disorder in the upper digestion system, especially the stomach, whereas, IBS refers to the lower digestion system, especially the bowels. A series of tests may be necessary for determining if one has gastroparesis, including: endoscopy, CT scan, upper gastrointestinal (GI) series, breath test, and a Gastric emptying study. The American Motility Society has established that a 4-hour “Gastric emptying test" is the standard for diagnosing gastroparesis.
Studies[edit | edit source]
Learn more[edit | edit source]
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - Your gut's reaction Pamphlet (PDF)
- NIH info on gastroparesis
- Phoenix Rising Forum on Gastroparesis
- Understanding Gastroparesis
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Burnet, R. B., & Chatterton, B. E. (2004). Gastric emptying is slow in chronic fatigue syndrome. BMC Gastroenterology, 4, 32. http://doi.org/10.1186/1471-230X-4-32
- Barkin, JA; Czul, F; Barkin, JS; Klimas, NG; Rey, IR; Moshiree, B (Aug 2016), "Gastric Enterovirus Infection: A Possible Causative Etiology of Gastroparesis", Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 61 (8): 2344-50, doi:10.1007/s10620-016-4227-x, PMID 27344315