Gastroparesis is a condition which the stomach instead of moving the food to the digestive tract, food stays in the stomach undigested. Read here to know from the expert everything about this condition.
Gastroparesis is a condition in which you are not able to digest food properly
Gastroparesis can affect digestion and make you vomit food
In gastroparesis you may feel full very easily
unexplained weight loss is also a sign of gastroparesis
Have you lost your appetite or do you feel full after eating just a few bites of food? Do you vomit undigested food eaten a few hours earlier? Then there are chances that you might be suffering from a condition called gastroparesis.
In gastroparesis, the vagus nerve which controls the movement of food in the stomach is impaired hence food remains in the stomach for a longer period than average. Instead of moving the food to the digestive tract, food stays in the stomach undigested.
One of the main causes of gastroparesis is diabetes. The condition is majorly found in individuals with type-1 diabetes. However, those with type-2 diabetes can also develop this condition too. The condition worsens over time if the blood sugar levels are uncontrolled.
Viral infections, acid reflux, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, Turner’s syndrome and smooth muscle disorder are some of the other diseases and conditions that can lead to gastroparesis.
The signs and symptoms of gastroparesis are:
Vomiting of undigested food just a few hours after consuming it
Feeling of fullness after having a few bites of food
Loss of appetite
Blood glucose levels not coming under control
What are the complications?
You are dumping food into your stomach and it just sits there without digestion leading to bacteria formation. The undigested food forms a solid mass called bezoars that can block the small intestine and lead to vomiting. It is a cause of worry for diabetic patients as the glucose levels fluctuate due to delay in the digestion. Throwing up undigested food often can lead to dehydration. The nauseating feeling and vomiting can make one frustrated and affect them mentally.
Also read: Can You Use Lemon Water to Treat Acid Reflux?
Steps to prevent gastroparesis
Food that take longer time to digest like the ones high on fat, fibre should be avoided. Raw food intake should also be cut down. Dairy products rich in fat like whole milk and ice creams and carbonated beverages should be avoided by people with gastroparesis. One of the best recommendations is to split your food into smaller meals and have it throughout the day.
Also read: What Is Acid Reflux? What Are The Best Foods To Have If You Have Acid Reflux? Our Expert Nutritionist Tells It All
By controlling the blood sugar levels the symptoms can be managed. If you are using insulin, then there will be a change in the insulin regimen. Checking the sugar levels frequently and taking insulin based on the reading can help. Instead of taking insulin before food, it can be taken after food.
Gastroparesis is better prevented than cured. With the help of dietary modifications, proper control of blood sugar levels and medications gastroparesis can be successfully managed.
(Dr. Radhika V Kumar, Senior Consultant -Endocrinology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Sarjapur Road)
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