It’s August… Which Means It’s Gastroparesis Awareness Month!

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.

Despite these, in a recent survey, published by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) and researchers from Temple University School of Medicine, it was noted that people with gastroparesis experience and struggle with symptoms for an average of 5 years before they are properly diagnosed.
Needless to say, greater awareness in the medical sphere is needed to help these individuals that struggled for longer than need be. That, and new treatments, too, because his research also found that social function and general health are also inhibited in people with gastroparesis. Current treatment does not take into account this overall quality of life for patients.
So, whether or not you’re personally affected by gastroparesis, August is the month to learn more about this condition.
You can start by reading this article. If that interests you, you can learn more from the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders at this site.

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