Stomach disorders come in a wide range. One of the most common ones is delayed gastric emptying, which is a condition that affects both adults and children. The disorder, which experts also refer to as gastroparesis, typically occurs when your stomach takes more time than it should empty food to the small intestines.
If you suspect that you (or your child) have delayed gastric emptying, what are the things you need to consider? Read further to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and the best treatment for you.
What Causes Delayed Gastric Emptying?
When you chew food and swallow it, muscle contraction helps the food reach the stomach. The food will then mix with the digestive juices present here and form a fluid known as chyme. Again, the muscles will then contract and flex to force out the food into the small intestines for further digestion.
In normal circumstances, food stays in the food for about four hours. Staying longer than that might result from a nerve problem, which should signal the muscles to contract and push food out of the stomach. Slow stomach emptying causes the food that remains in the stomach to form a solid mass known as bezoar.
Experts say that while most causes of delayed gastric emptying remain unknown, they can link to several reasons. They include:
– Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes
– Any surgery related to the esophagus
– Medications such as pain relievers, antidepressants, high blood pressure, and allergy medications
– Virus infection
Symptoms of Delayed Gastric Emptying
Slow stomach emptying will obstruct new food from passing through to the small intestines. Therefore, this will cause regular nausea, vomiting, discomfort in the stomach, bloating, feeling a full belly, and pain. If not treated, it can further lead to complications such as:
– Undigested food
– Irregular blood sugar changes
– Loss of weight
– Affecting quality of life, including school attendance for students
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Treating Delayed Gastric Emptying
Whenever you experience the symptoms mentioned above, it’s essential that you consult a medical expert immediately. The gastroparesis specialist will start by examining your medical history. Therefore, you have to be ready to share that. Doing so helps your doctor identify the possible causes of your symptoms.
Some of the tests that the doctor will run include ultrasound, blood tests, and upper endoscopy, where the doctor will insert a thin, long scope into your stomach via the esophagus to check whether you have any blockages. All these tests determine whether you have other underlying issues causing the symptoms.
The specialist will provide medication that controls vomiting and nausea and offers others to stimulate the muscles to digest food. Other ways of treating the problem include surgery and dietary changes.
How Do You Make Your Stomach Empty Faster?
If you are wondering how to make your stomach empty faster, you can start by changing your diet. Changes such as eating up to six small portions of meals in a day, consuming
high-calorie liquids, eating high fiber food, and low-fat foods will assist with the issue.
Other ways to achieve this include:
– Eat appropriately cooked vegetables and fruits
– Take your evening meals earlier
– Pureed or liquid foods are better substitutes
– Eat less meat and diary
– Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and any other carbonated beverages
Delayed gastric emptying is a treatable condition. Consulting a qualified physician as soon as you notice these problems can increase your chances of healing. During the initial consultation, ensure that you tell the doctor everything about your health and medical history. That way, it will be easy for the specialists to diagnose the problem.