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Suite 507
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(650) 342-7432

October 08, 2015
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Gastroparesis, which means partial paralysis of the stomach, is a serious disease that prevents your stomach from digesting food and emptying properly. Damaged nerves and muscles don’t function with their normal strength and coordination. That slows the movement of contents through your digestive system.

The primary cause of gastroparesis is damage to or dysfunction of peripheral nerves and muscles.

In diabetic patients, it appears as more of a neuropathy-based disease associated with damaged nerves. In patients who don’t have diabetes, it seems more muscular-based: The nerve endings are all right, but the muscles are not responding.

In addition to diabetes, other sources of gastroparesis include:

  • Lingering post-viral effects — You get a virus, but the nausea and vomiting from the virus don’t go away after the virus is gone.“Some of those cases will resolve, and we just have to wait and watch”. “But a lot of times it doesn’t resolve, so we have to continue to treat the patients.”
  • Connective tissue diseases — Gastroparesis may plague patients who have diseases such as multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.
  • Side effects from medication — Probably the most difficult group to treat, narcotic pain medicines and other drugs slow a patient’s intestinal motility.“That can be very hard to treat, because the medications often override what we prescribe to treat the gastroparesis,” he says.
  • Post-surgical effects — Some patients develop gastroparesis after the vagus nerve is damaged or trapped during a gastrointestinal surgical procedure.

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100 S. Ellsworth Ave
Suite 507
San Mateo CA, 94401