August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month. Also referred to as delayed gastric emptying, gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract do not work properly, causing the stomach to empty too slowly. A gastroenterologist in New Jersey can provide testing, diagnosis, and treatment for this condition.
If this is your first time learning about this condition, you may have questions about it. Here are a few important things to know about gastroparesis:
1. How Common is Gastroparesis?
It is estimated that up to 5 million people in the United States are affected by this condition, with it impacting women more than men by more than half. Symptoms that are similar to gastroparesis can also occur in about 25 percent of adults in the United States. People who are more likely to get gastroparesis include people with diabetes, people who have had surgery on their esophagus, stomach, or small intestine, and people who have had certain cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy on the chest or stomach.
2. What are the Signs and Symptoms of Gastroparesis?
Symptoms typically occur during and after a meal and include nausea and/or vomiting, retching, stomach fullness after a normal-sized meal, early fullness, and stomach pain and discomfort. Additional symptoms may include bloating, heartburn, and decreased appetite, which can result in weight loss.
3. What Causes Gastroparesis?
For most people who are diagnosed with gastroparesis, their condition is considered “idiopathic.” This term means that the cause is unknown. In some people, however, a viral infection, diabetes, surgeries, some medications, and other illnesses can cause the condition.
4. What are the Treatments for Gastroparesis?
There is no cure for gastroparesis, so treatments are aimed at managing symptoms long-term. This can include dietary and lifestyle adjustments, medications, and procedures. Mild symptoms can often be managed with dietary and lifestyle changes, while moderate to more severe symptoms may require medicines that stimulate stomach emptying and reduce nausea and vomiting. Severe symptoms may require added procedures to maintain nutrition and reduce symptoms.
If you have recently been diagnosed with gastroparesis or are experiencing symptoms of this condition, a gastroenterologist in New Jersey from The Medical Group of New Jersey can provide you with attentive and skilled care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.