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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about gastroparesis

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Frequently Asked Questions About Gastroparesis

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  • There is no permanent cure for gastroparesis yet. However, you can manage its symptoms to keep it from progressing into serious complications
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes may help alleviate this health problem. However, it’s important to note that every sufferer may have different nutritional needs
  • The symptoms of gastroparesis come and go, as it’s a chronic disease. The pattern by which its warning signs occur is unpredictable

Q: How can you treat gastroparesis?

A: There is no permanent cure for gastroparesis yet. However, you can manage its symptoms to keep it from causing serious complications. The usual methods to treat gastroparesis symptoms involve medications for stimulating stomach muscle contractions. Drugs to relieve nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain may be prescribed as well.

Doctors are also exploring the effectiveness of botulinum toxin (Botox) injection and gastric electrical stimulation in improving the digestion process. For severe cases, a jejunostomy and parenteral nutrition may be required.1 However, take note that these methods may lead to adverse effects, so make sure you’re aware of their risks.

Dietary and lifestyle changes may also help alleviate gastroparesis. Patients are often given low-fiber and low-fat diets. Smaller and more frequent portions of food are also recommended instead of eating three big meals a day.2,3

Q: Can you reverse gastroparesis?

A: Since there is no known cure for chronic gastroparesis, it cannot be reversed. However, you can manage its symptoms and keep it from causing serious complications.4

Q: Can gastroparesis symptoms come and go?

A: Yes, the symptoms of gastroparesis come and go, as it’s a chronic disease. The pattern by which its warning signs occur is unpredictable. According to a study, the prognosis for gastroparesis is relatively good, and there are many cases wherein the symptoms go into remission for several years.5

Q: Can gastroparesis be caused by anxiety?

A: Anxiety alone does not cause gastroparesis. However, it can trigger and exacerbate the symptoms of this disease, such as nausea and vomiting.6 Research shows that the possible causes of gastroparesis include diabetes mellitus, gastric surgery, neurological conditions and certain medications.7

Q: Can gastroparesis cause severe constipation?

A: Constipation is one of the severe symptoms of gastroparesis. This symptom usually occurs together with stomach bloating. Studies suggest that gastroparesis patients with energy-deficient diets are more likely to experience constipation.8 This symptom may also occur in patients with intestinal pseudo obstruction.9

Q: Can you get cancer from gastroparesis?

A: It’s still unclear whether gastroparesis causes cancer or not. What researchers know, though, is that delayed gastric emptying is a complication of cancer. In fact, it’s often mislabeled as cancer cachexia or chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.10

MORE ABOUT GASTROPARESIS

Gastroparesis: Introduction

What Is Gastroparesis?

Diabetic Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis Symptoms

Gastroparesis Causes

Gastroparesis Treatment

Gastroparesis Prevention

Gastroparesis Diet

Gastroparesis FAQ

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