Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Inability of stomach to contract and digest food
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Inability of stomach to contract and digest food

I have a friend who has been having stomach pain after eating for over  months now.  She has had an edoscopy, upper gi, abdominal cat scan and an ultrasound and the only thing the doctors can tell her is that her stomach doesn't contract enough to push the food through the digestive system, which causes her severe pain that has to be controlled with pain medication.  GI Doctor prescribed Reglan and an enzyme to assist in the digestive process.
Has anyone ever heard of this condition and if so, what type of treatment took care of the problem.
Thanks!
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7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Any heartburn ? Weight loss ?
Did she need to make diet or lifestyle changes ?
I have been suffering for 7 months
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Avatar_n_tn
DO NOT TAKE REGLAN PLEASEEEE THATS THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO TAKE MY MOM TOOK IT SHE STOP WALKING , TALKING DEPRESSED ALL THE TIME, HER WEIGHT WAS 230 WITHIN 2 MONTHS HER WEIGHT IS NOW 140 PLEASE FOR GODS SAKE DON'T TAKE REGLAN!

SHE HAS STOP EATING MEATS AND OTHER THINGS HER LIFE NOW IS EATING WATERMELON AND 1 GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH ONCE EVERY TWO DAYS WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO GIVE HER

AND WE HAVE TAKEN AWAY THE OTHER 10 MEDS THE DOCTOR GAVE HER
HE IS VERY SURPRISE IN THE PROGRESS WE HAVE MADE OURSELVES
ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS PUT HER ON FEEDING TUBE I DON'T THINK SO!
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Avatar_n_tn
"Gastroparesis"

Diet for Delayed Stomach Emptying-

Purpose
Gastroparesis is the medical term for delayed stomach emptying. During the process of digestion, the stomach must contract to empty itself of food and liquid. Normally, it contracts about three times a minute. This empties the stomach within 90-120 minutes after eating. If contractions are sluggish or less frequent, stomach emptying is delayed. This results in bothersome and sometimes serious symptoms, as well as malnutrition, because food is not being digested properly.

Gastroparesis may be caused by various conditions such as diabetes mellitus, certain disorders of the nervous system, or certain drugs. Often however, no cause can be found. Usually, the physician prescribes medication to stimulate the stomach to contract. The purpose of the gastroparesis diet is to reduce symptoms and maintain adequate fluids and nutrition. There are three steps to the diet.

STEP 1 DIET consists of liquids, which usually leave the stomach quickly by gravity alone. Liquids prevent dehydration and keep the body supplied with vital salts and minerals.
STEP 2 DIET provides additional calories by adding a small amount of dietary fat -- less than 40 gm each day. For patients with gastroparesis, fatty foods and oils should be restricted, because they delay stomach emptying. However, patients at the Step 2 level are usually able to tolerate this amount.

STEP 3 DIET is designed for long-term maintenance. Fat is limited to 50 gm per day, and fibrous foods are restricted, because many plant fibers cannot be digested.

Nutrition Facts
The STEP 1 Gastroparesis Diet is inadequate in all nutrients except sodium and potassium. It should not be continued for more than three days without additional nutritional support. STEP 2 and STEP 3 Gastroparesis Diets may be inadequate in Vitamins A and C, and the mineral iron. A multi-vitamin supplement is usually prescribed.

Special Considerations
Diets must be tailored to the individual patient. This is because the degree of gastroparesis may range from severe and long-standing to mild and easily corrected. Patients may also have various medical conditions to be considered. For example, diabetes patients with gastroparesis are allowed sugar-containing liquids on the Step 1 diet, because that is their only source of carbohydrate. On the Step 2 and Step 3 diets, these patients should avoid concentrated sweets. These are noted with an asterisk (*) on the food lists.
On all of the diets, liquids and food should be eaten in small, frequent meals. This helps to maintain nutrition.

Step 1 Food Groups
Group
Recommend
Avoid

Milk & milk products
none
all

Vegetables
none
all

Fruits
none
all

Breads & grains
plain saltine crackers
all others

Meats & meat substitutes
none
all

Fats & oils
none
all

Beverages
Gatorade and soft drinks (sipped slowly throughout the day)
all others

Soups
fat-free consomm
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Avatar_n_tn
Well informed post.
How does one decipher after so much tests and so on Too start healing and eat better soon.
To date I am:
Too thin as mentioned with this onset
cream of rice, banana, apples, potatoes: no skin, margarine, water, corn chips, egg whites

Are all blood tests accurate:
What about a tongue, saliva, urine , stool evaluation from a Alternative or Hollistic approach doctor ?
Doesn't a sore throat, sour stomach, pain in upper abdomen : I use ice or heat in evening,
I feel as if it is a virus and keep waiting with hope it will pass.
I am still hungry ,
If pills don't help is it yet something elce?
Are there other bugs that we have missed ?
Can in fact another test be helpful ?
Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
What has you GI told you that you have or what's going on so far?
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Avatar_n_tn
After 10 months and feeling much older then 33 (lol) I had many tests with onset to rule out ulcer. Then tried drugs which did more harm then good, Then a CT which showed other health concerns. At this point I am waiting for a blood test on Celiac Disease and trying DGL again. Hard to please the doctor when the patient lives a healthy lifestyle which needs no change and sensitive to meds. The bland diet for months and weight loss is YUK.
I pray and try to learn all I can . I was checked for Gallbladder and endoscopy 6 months ago. Just wish I could be given a suggestion and feel better. I know I must eat many small meals and my stomach is much smaller after this ordeal , But co-workers with IBS, Hiatal hernias were as confused as I.
Met with Nutrionist: I eat so many mashed potatoes...........
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have idiopathic gastroparesis(along with other gi complications) dx in 1993. My gastric emptying time is roughly 24 hours.  However I have discovered(trial and error) even with the pain if I place a small ball(larger than a grapefruit)just below my xyphoid process(bony end of breast bone) and lie on the floor and gently bounce my stomach will empty.  I usually do this before going to bed(less reflux) and at least 3-4 hours after each meal if I can.  I always turn onto my right side when I start to feel my stomach empty to let gravity help.  I have good days & weeks and then I have times when I can't eat and loose weight then it is a liquid diet. However, I decided about 9 years ago that I had a choice... I could live with this problem or die from it.  I see a gastroenterologist every 6 months and am currently on no medications.  I have had to modify my diet and come to the realization that it is only food and doesn't always have to taste good to provide adequate nutrition. Accupuncture(5 element)has been a great help, and I take a multivitamin without iron.  I certainly wish you the best.
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, no digestion/absorption at all was started.
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