On Instagram @AndreaHardyRD, I talk all about gastroparesis, what it is, who can be at risk, and the the treatment options available.

  • Image of @andreahardyrd Instagram post about what is gastroparesis

Gastroparesis.⁠⠀
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Last week I shared on my feed that I had SEVERAL gastroparesis patients in one week, which is not particularly normal for our practice as it is a rare condition (about 0.02% of the population are diagnosed with gastroparesis).⁠ 🤯⠀
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Gastroparesis literally means paralysis of the stomach – the stomach doesn’t empty well, causing nausea, vomiting, pain, and bloating. ⁠⠀
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This occurs when your vagus nerve (the ‘information highway’ responsible for signalling digestion) becomes damaged, and/or when the stomachs’ ‘pacemaker cells’, which are responsible for controlling digestion, become damaged.⁠⠀
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Some of the common cases include poor blood sugar control from diabetes or surgery damaging the vagus nerve, and is also seen after a viral infection.⁠⠀
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It is typically diagnosed by a gastric emptying study, also called gastric emptying scintigraphy if you want to get technical. They very simply radio-label a standardized meal (hope you like egg sandwiches), and take a series of images to measure how quickly your stomach empties.⁠⠀
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Normal gastric retention (or the amount left in your stomach at 1 hour is 90%, 2h is 60%, 3h is 30% and 4h is 10%. ⁠⠀
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Your doctor will look at the results as a whole and make an interpretation as to whether the amount of food you retain is concerning.⁠⠀
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From there, they come up with a plan!⁠⠀
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Typically, diet and lifestyle changes, in combination with medication management are the mainstays of treatment, however in more severe cases, enteral nutrition (feeding directly into the small bowel to by-pass the stomach), or a surgical implantable device may be considered.⁠⠀
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Dietitian is KEY in coming up with a nutrition plan that works for you. Working with a GI dietitian (like my team @ignite.nutrition.inc) can help you get on track!⁠⠀
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Any questions, class?⁠⠀⁠