Dear Dr. S-
Quit smoking over 4 months ago...this is the 3rd time. Have been chewing Nicorette for the entire 4 months and have recently been diagnosed in last month with gastric dysmotility (food not emptying from my stomach). Could all this gum chewing (6-8 pieces per day) and nicotine going into my stomach be affecting the enzymes or muscles of my stomach to cause this problem? WOuld appreciate any info or referral to other sources such as a university doing any research in this area.
PS Also recovering alcholic of 7 years.....could the alcohol abuse of my past have affected my stomach....my glucose levels are fine
I have reproduced below the abstract of an article which suggests that nicotine can, indeed, delay gastric emptying. You may be getting too much nicotine into your stomach by chewing the gum too vigorously. Remember that you should chew it slowly and occasionally, letting it sit for a while between your cheek and your gums so that the nicotine is absorbed in your mouth. You're probably swallowing too much of the nicotine in the gum. Alternatively, consider switching to a patch, which bypasses the stomach altogether.
Here's that article I was telling you about:
Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1988 Apr;2(2):173-8
The effect of nicotine on the delay of gastric emptying.
Gritz ER, Ippoliti A, Jarvik ME, Rose JE, Shiffman S, Harrison A, Van Vunakis H
Division of Cancer Control, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.
The effect of cigarette smoking and its active component, nicotine, on the gastric emptying of solid food was assessed in a randomized double-blind crossover design. Ten regular smokers were studied after a 6 h fast and least 18 h after their last cigarette. Subjects smoked a total of three high (1.91 mg) or low (0.17 mg) nicotine cigarettes, before and after a technetium-labelled solid meal and were scanned by gamma camera periodically over a 2-h period. All calculations of gastric emptying revealed a significant delay after smoking high versus low nicotine cigarettes in: mean per cent isotope remaining in the stomach at each measurement point from 90-120 min; amount of meal remaining in the stomach at 2 h; and mean time at which 50% of the meal had emptied (T1/2). Delay in gastric emptying was significantly correlated with increase in serum nicotine concentration on the high nicotine day.
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