August signifies the beginning of the end of the summer season and the start of school again, but it is also a month of spreading awareness. Specifically, gastroparesis awareness.
Gastroparesis is an unfortunate disease in which the body does not dispose of food in a normal way.
Typically, the cause of gastroparesis is largely unknown; however, it can potentially result from damage to the vagus nerve which subsequently prevents the muscles and intestines in the stomach from functioning normally, causing nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bleeding, early fullness/the inability to finish a meal, poor appetite and weight loss, and poor blood sugar control.
Other causes of gastroparesis include uncontrolled diabetes, medications (narcotics and antidepressants especially), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and some other rare conditions.
Since gastroparesis is a chronic and long-lasting condition, treatment cannot cure the disorder, but it can greatly help alleviate symptoms.
There are medications available to control and limit symptoms of it, such as Reglan, Erythromycin, and antiemetics, but one of the most natural ways to control the symptoms of this disorder is to simply regulate diet. Eating small meals many times a day vs. big meals only three times a day is one way to do this. Another tip is to choose foods with a certain consistency—the more liquids, the better.