Gastroparesis is a disorder that slows down or stops food from emptying into the small intestine from the stomach, also called delayed gastric emptying. The stomach muscles that involve this process are controlled by the vagus nerve.
Causes of Gastroparesis
There isn't one specific cause of gastroparesis. In fact, most people who are diagnosed have what's called idiopathic gastroparesis, which means the physician cannot identify the exact cause. However, there seems to be a few risk factors which increase the chances of getting gastroparesis that can include:
- Injury to the vagus nerve, sometimes caused by gastric surgery
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men
Symptoms of Gastroparesis
Symptoms of gastroparesis may include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule and appointment today to get screened. Diagnosis can be different for everyone depending on the case. Tests include physical exams, blood tests and GI track examination. You may undergo an upper GI endoscopy, ultrasound barium X-ray, smart pill, or a variety of other tests. Consult with your physician at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for further information.
Treatment for Gastroparesis
Since gastroparesis is a chronic disease, most treatments don't actually cure the disease. However, treatment is given to reduce the symptoms. Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center just recently added Gastric Electrical Stimulation (GES) treatment for gastroparesis. Designed to provide relief to patients with Gastroparesis, GES utilizes an electrical device, the Enterra™ Therapy gastric pacemaker, to provide mild electrical stimulation to the lower stomach nerves. The mild electrical pulses, which are transmitted through a neurostimulator, encourage the stomach to contract and help to relieve nausea and vomiting. The gastric pacemaker is placed subcutaneously below the rib cage in the abdomen using minimally invasive surgical techniques. Two lead wires with electrodes are implanted into the stomach muscle wall to deliver mild electrical pulses for symptom control. These procedures will be performed by Dr. Bala Thatigotla and Dr. Vikram Vattipally.
For more information, call us at (716) 278-4000