Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gastroparesis is a weak stomach. This condition is very common and can be the cause of a number of abdominal complaints. Dr. Ed Hill tells us more about gastroparesis in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Gastroparesis is usually caused by nerve damage from diabetes. One of ever 10 to 20 people with diabetes has symptoms of gastroparesis.

During digestion, your stomach normally adds acid to the food you have eaten and your stomach muscles move the food toward your small intestine. If you have gastroparesis, your stomach takes longer to move the food. Sometimes, you get too much bacteria in your stomach or food collects in your stomach and causes blockages.

The symptoms vary, but can include heartburn, nausea, vomiting and feeling full sooner than normal. You might eat less because eating may make you feel uncomfortable. You could feel bloated, lose weight or have trouble keeping your blood sugar steady.

You may need some tests to make sure you donít have any blockages, or to see how long it takes food to move out of your stomach. Treatment includes controlling your diabetes, medication to help you digest your food faster or help with nausea and changing your diet. Instead of eating three big meals a day, you may need to eat less food more often.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.