Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Delayed gastric emptying
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Delayed gastric emptying

Hi, I posted here before regarding my symptoms that seem to be gallbladder related.  I have undergone many tests-CT of abdomen and pelvis, upper GI, EGD, internal and external ultrasound, and HIDA (the only test I didn't pass).  The doctors don't seem to think a lower functioning gallbladder could be causing all of my nausea.

Anyway, reading the forums here, it seems that I could be having problems with delayed gastric emptying.  Just wondering if there are others out there that have dealt with this.

Also, could a low functioning gallbladder cause this or make it worse.  Or vice versa, could delayed gastric emptying make your gallbladder not to function correctly?

Any info would be appreciated!

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16 Comments
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Hi,
  Don't be too sure that extreme nausea cannot be caused by a non-functioning gallbladder.  When I was having acute symptoms with my gallbladder, I had such extreme nausea that I could not eat properly for 3 months. The nausea would eventually subside and then come back occasionally. I lost 31 lbs during that six month period.  As the acute phase subsided into a chronic stage the nausea subsided slightly as well.  Now that I had my gallbladder removed, I only experience it now and then.
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Did you have pain along with your nausea? Because i've only had pain a few times in my chest/back and under my right rib.  Doc's say i'm not having enough pain for it to be the gallbladder.  I don't really believe them.
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In the acute phase the pain does come in waves and is usually quite severe. I would have described those episodes as attacks.

This phase, however, only occurs once the bile ducts become involved.  If inflamation (inflammation) begins to occur then cholecystitis results. This happens after there has been an ongoing problem.

You may be in the early stages of dysfunction with your gallbladder. My pain was in the same areas you describe. My problem has not been resolved and may include the Sphincter of Oddi.  So removal of the gallbladder ensured that I would not have more serious complications but did not solve my problem.

I don't know how long you have been dealing with this, but if it has been more than a year, it may be wise to get another opinion.  I went to 6 different doctors before someone would take a stand and tell me to have it removed.  He told me that doctors are very afraid of malpractice law suits to recommend this surgery.  It ended up that mine needed to come out.
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My 16 year old daughter has the same symptoms.  She has been diagnosed with parasites.  She went through all kinds of tests.  Ultrasound, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, and many more.  It is extremely difficult to be diagnosed for.  The tests usually come back negative.  Call The Great Smokies Lab and they will send you a list of Naturopathic providers in your area.  You can also contact the Parasitolgy Lab.  The Awareness Corporation makes excellent products that will help you.  The web-site is Awarenessherbs.com
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Also you can order Clear, Experience, and Harmony through Herbalhealthrx.com  You might want to add Synergy to your order as well.  These products will help you.  After you start these products, start to observe what's coming out of you and learn what parasites and their eggs look like.  You should get your PH level checked.  If it is acidic you more than likely have parasites.  Are you suffering with severe constipation, nausea, headaches, gurgly stomache, abdominal pains, aches in the joints and body?  There's more symptoms than this, but this is what my daughter feels.  My point of view is I don't think there's any such thing as IBS.  I think a lot of people have parasites and doctor's are not educated enough to deal with this.
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Let me offer my opinion, because I have had my gall bladder out, and I have delayed stomach emptying. Hard to say which came first, since the symptoms mimic each other. Also hard to predict if you have delayed stomach emptying whether gall bladder removal (when it is not functioning properly) makes the stomach emptying better or worse. Both have been reported. When I was having problems with gallstones, I had very little pain, it was more of a feeling of tenderness near the breastbone, nothing that was really painful, and easy to miss. My primary complaint was nausea.
After the surgery, I kept getting bouts of unexplained nausea. Over time they became more regular and more severe. Finally after all the other tests, a doctor sent me for a gastric emptying test. That was the test that told me my stomach did not empty properly, and it all began to fall into place. I had the bloating, feeling full early, certain foods did not agree with me, and of course the nausea, which was the worst. Some people also get constipation. I would definitely ask for the stomach emtpying test. It is easy and painless, not invasive. You eat a small amount of food with an isoptope (flavorless) and they take pictures of your stomach as you lay on a table, kind of like an x ray. Your stomach should empty by 50% in 90 minutes. anything less is considered abnormal. I now take a medication for this (also called gastroparesis) and it has helped tremendously. Ask for the test, then you will know for sure. Your gall bladder should have nothing to do with how your stomach empties. Good luck.
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I'm just curious...what's the medication that helps your gp? Lots of people complain that nothing works.
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I take a medication called domperidone, also known by the brand name Motilium. I initially got it from Canada, because I live close by. It is also available from Mexico. However, the cheapest source that I found was from a pharmacy in New Zealand, called Planet Pharmaceuticals (I think). I can look up the phone number if you want. It is toll free, and they ship the brand name in blister sealed packs. When ordering from New Zealand, you do not need a prescription. It is legal and goes through customs. This same pharmacy also dispenses Propulsid, and also without a prescription. It was taken off the market in the U.S., mostly because of poorly managed patient care by doctors. Which does not mean it is illegal, it's just not sold here anymore. The domperidone is also very safe, with no cardiac side effects that I am aware of. Actually, the best medication combination is the use of domperidone and propulsid together. My GI doc volunteered to screen me for cardiac problems, and follow me with all the necessary tests. However, since I am doing so well with the domperidone, I will keep taking it. I belong to an online support group for gastroparesis through Yahoo, and they have been a lifesaver for me. Everything I know about this disease, I learned there. Hope this helps. Let me know if you want any more info.

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hi

I was wondering if slow gastric emptying can cause irritable bowel or vice versa can irritable bowel be the cause of slow gastric emptying I have both thanks for any info.
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hi

sorry me again I wanted to know if you know if it is ok to take any kind of antidepressants or anxiety medication when you have  slow gastric emptying I get very depressed and anxious at times and have read that anti depressants make gastric emptying worse. I am reluctant to ask doctor they just dose out pills to get rid of you for another while.

Thanks again
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Many people with delayed stomach emptying also have slow motility throughout their intestinal system, and constipation problems are common. A new medication called Zelnorm is on the market for constipation predominant IBS, and I have taken it with good results, and no noticeable side effects. It also seems to help the stomach by helping everything else to run smoothly.
Since you have to avoid fiber, that adds to the challenges of this illness. However, I am able to tolerate soft fruits with no skins, such as ripe melon and peaches.
As for anxiety and depression, I hear you there. I ended up taking Effexor because I became very anxious and depressed. I also know of others who have taken Paxil and Prozac. Some anti depressants also affect the stomach, and a good GI doc should know which ones do. I also have taken Xanax for anxiety, and while any type of sedative is likely to slow down movement, I would just get so tense when I felt sick, it actually made me feel better. I have also heard of a number of people that take Ativan with good results. If you would like to email me, write to me at  ***@****
All that you describe is very common with stomach motility disorders.
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Thanks again for all the information I am really trying everything I know to help this condition. My doctors keep telling me different stories. The only thing they agree on is that I have IBS and severe gastritis one dr says that slow gastric emptying caused the gastritis and told me to take motilium. The other said it was the gastritis that was causing the slow gastric emptying and told me to stop the motilium and said I should only take it for 3 weeks you can see why I am totally frustrated. My PCP told me it was ok to continue the motilium after I started to loose weight when I was off it for a week, I have already lost so much weight about 28 lbs I cant afford to loose any more. I have been reading about an alternative remedy for ibs and slow gastric emptying, mentioned on this site, called iberogast, it has been compared to regular drugs and doesnt seem to have side effects if I try this and have any help I will let you know. I am going to see an acupuncturist to see if it will help me relax.

Thanks again
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If I am not mistaken, I think the Iberogast(sp?) is an herbal remedy or homeopathic? I will post a question on the other site, because I have heard it mentioned, but sorry to say I don't recall anyone commenting on it being anything better.
I am not surprised you are getting conflicting information, but trust me on this, it doesn't matter WHY you have the problem, you need to treat it. Most people with gastroparesis do have some sort of inflammation, GERD, reflux, or whatever, because the stomach is not emptying quickly enough, therefore the problems. For YEARS they told me that was my problem, and they were only partially right. I know people that have been taking domperidone for ten or more years with no problem, so I really wouldn't worry. It's been on the market for about 40 years, so it really has been around for awhile in terms of history and predictability. I have seen some of the top doctors in the country, and I have really done my homework, plus have been doing everything I can to manage this, and I must say, I am MUCH better than I was earlier this year. About 40% of the cases are what they call idiopathic, in which they cannot identify the reason. There is one, but no way to detect it. It affects mostly women also. Use your common sense and go with your instincts. Believe it or not, doctors do NOT know everything. If domperidone helps, keep taking it. You can take up to 40 mg. four times a day. I take 30 mg, four times a day. Good luck, and let me know if I can do anything to help. This really is a miserable illness, and I know how awful I have felt, so I wouldn't want anyone else to feel that way if I could help it.
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Thanks again will watch out for your postings
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I was just diagonised with "grossly abnormal" gastric emptying after months and months of problems.  The doc put me on domperdine for now.  Are there any surgical prodecures to help with this?  I'm only 28, female, not diabetic, exercise, normal weight, non smoker...i just don't want to take drugs forever for this condition.
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Hi,

I was reading about the variety of problems some people have had with their stomachs/gallbladder etc.

I have never been able to handle much fat in my diet, but I would say in the last year or so this problem has escalated. In early October I had a horrible attack (of the gallbladder?) and couldn't even eat for days! I lived on liquids (apple juice, water, broth and jello). Then I added sweet potato slowly to my diet. I found that I could digest the potato without anything in it.

I have been on a fat free diet since then, but I still have some full feeling and a little nausea. Once I ate a little low fat cheese, and had to spend about 5 days on the liquid/jello diet until the symptoms subsided.

I have the upper right quadrant pain, which radiates to the back and sometimes shoulder blade.

I had a HIDA SCAN done in October and the g/bladder was functioning at 33.4%. I also had an ultrasound which came back normal (no stones), and a CAT SCAN that was normal. The surgeon thinks it's the gallbladder and wants to remove it.

Also, I have Ulcerative Colitis which I handle pretty well. Does anyone know whether this condition causes problems with digesting fats? Or if this causes the g/b problems?

Please give any info that might be helpful. I am reluctant to take out the g/bladder and continue suffering with the same problem!

However, when not even a low fat diet is working, one has wonder if it is indeed the gall bladder. I am on a completely FAT FREE diet and sometimes I do fine on it.

Lillibet
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