Gastroparesis: A digestive disorder.

Essay by vhumannCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 2005

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This informational paper covers what the digestive disorder gastroparesis is, its causes, symptoms, how it is diagnosed, complications associated with the disorder, and treatments for the disorder. My intentions are to give the reader a crisper knowledge of gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis is a disorder characterized by which the stomach has the inability to empty itself of ingested food in a normal way. Gastroparesis has multiple causes. The most common cause is damage to the vagus nerve, whose function is to regulate the digestive system. This damage of the vagus nerve effects the body in that it prevents the muscles of the stomach and intestines from functioning properly by preventing food from being able to move through the G.I. tract . Other causes of this disorder may include, uncontrolled diabetes with accompanied hypertension, viral infections, gastro surgery with ended injury to the vagus nerve, medications such as narcotics and some antidepressants, amyloidosis, and scleroderma.

The complications that are associated with gastroparesis are clear. One complication occurs because food will stay in the stomach too long, so that it will allow the food to ferment, which leads to bacteria growth. Food left in the stomach to sit can harden into a solid mass, referred to as bezoar. This mass can cause blockage in the stomach, keeping food from passing into the small intestines.

Persons who suffer from both diabetes as well as gastroparesis may experience further complications as they may have more difficulty in that blood glucose levels will rise when the food finally leaves the stomach and enter the small intestines.

There are many symptoms of this disorder. The number one initial symptom is reported heartburn or GERD. Other symptoms include; nausea, vomiting undigested food, feeling full quickly when eating or early satiety, abdominal bloating or enlargement, poor appetite, weight loss, and...