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The symptoms of gastroparesis that you should watch out for

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  • The severity and pattern by which gastroparesis symptoms occur may vary from one sufferer to another. Some patients may even encounter more than one warning sign every flare-up
  • Even though gastroparesis has a low mortality rate, its symptoms may still become life-threatening if not given urgent medical attention
  • Here are the some of the hallmark symptoms of gastroparesis that you should look out for

Gastroparesis may cause a variety of symptoms that are actually easy to identify. What makes this disease hard to diagnose, though, is the similarity of its warning signs to that of other diseases.1 Its milder symptoms may also be brushed off as trivial digestive problems that will resolve on their own. This could lead to serious complications, so it’s important to be aware of the common symptoms of this disease.

Don’t ignore the warning signs of gastroparesis

The severity and pattern by which gastroparesis symptoms occur may vary from one sufferer to another. Some patients may even encounter more than one warning sign every flare-up. Here are some of the hallmark symptoms of gastroparesis that you should look out for:2,3,4

  • Nausea — People with gastroparesis may experience nausea to a debilitating degree. This symptom may also be accompanied by vomiting.
  • Vomiting — Gastroparesis patients usually vomit undigested food a few hours after a meal. However, this symptom may also occur without eating due to the accumulation of secretions in the stomach.5
  • Early satiety — Feeling full after eating just a few bites of food is a sign that the stomach is no longer digesting its contents properly.
  • Loss of appetite — The slow digestion of food and other uncomfortable symptoms of gastroparesis may cause sufferers to lose their appetite.
  • Stomach bloating Impaired digestive processing may cause gas and food to accumulate in the abdomen, ultimately resulting in stomach bloat.
  • Heartburn — Delayed gastric emptying may cause the stomach acid to go upward into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn.6
  • Abdominal pain — Gastroparesis causes vague cramps on the upper side of the abdomen, which may worsen by eating certain foods. This symptom becomes uncomfortable over time, and may even disrupt sleep at night.

In addition, a gastroparesis flare-up may cause a swollen abdomen, excess gas and unexpected weight loss. Talk to a doctor immediately if you experience any of the mentioned warning signs, and make sure that you explain your condition comprehensively to get a proper diagnosis.

What happens if you disregard the symptoms of gastroparesis?

As mentioned above, gastroparesis may lead to a variety of complications if not diagnosed and treated immediately. Some of its complications include:7,8,9

  • Malnutrition — Since gastroparesis causes vomiting and loss of appetite, patients may not be able to get enough nutrition from the food that they managed to keep down. As a result, they eventually lose an excessive amount of weight and become malnourished.
  • Dehydration — Often caused by repeated vomiting, dehydration is a serious complication that requires urgent care. Intravenous fluids are usually used to correct this condition.
  • Bacterial infection — When undigested food stays in the stomach for extended periods of time, it becomes fermented and causes overgrowth of bad bacteria. This may put the body at risk of bacterial infections.
  • Bezoars — Undigested food may accumulate in the stomach and turn into a solid mass called a bezoar. Small bezoars can be removed through endoscopic manipulation. However, surgery may be required for severe cases.
  • Uncontrollable blood sugar level — Delayed digestion of food and absorption of nutrients may cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate unexpectedly, making it more difficult for diabetics to control their glucose.

Even though gastroparesis has a low mortality rate, it may still become life-threatening if not given urgent medical attention.10 If you or a loved one is diagnosed with this disease, you should always be alert for its complications so you can act fast in case they occur.

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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