August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month
For Immediate Release
Milwaukee, WI, July 30, 2015 – Gastroparesis, a condition also called delayed gastric emptying, is estimated to affect up to five million people in the United States, and yet many experiencing the symptoms remain undiagnosed. This August, Gastroparesis Awareness Month, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), helps identify the symptoms of gastroparesis to raise critical awareness about this debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disorder.
Gastroparesis is a chronic medical condition where symptoms occur and the stomach cannot empty properly. The symptoms usually happen during or after eating a meal and can appear suddenly or gradually. Symptoms typically include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dry heaves
- Stomach fullness after a normal sized meal
- Early fullness and inability to finish a meal
Other symptoms are possible, such as bloating, stomach discomfort or pain, weight loss due to decreased appetite, and heartburn.
“Symptoms of gastroparesis can vary and they can be similar to those seen in other conditions,” said Nancy Norton, president and founder of IFFGD. “Individuals who experience symptoms should talk to their doctor to find out what is wrong and what treatment approach may be needed.”
The symptoms of gastroparesis are long-term and can range in severity from being mild to having a significant negative impact on daily living. Complications from symptoms may also arise, including severe dehydration, obstruction, and malnutrition due to poor absorption of nutrients.
There is no cure for gastroparesis and treatments are aimed at managing symptoms. Most often they include long-term dietary measures and/or medications, but if these are not helpful enough, other therapies, such as tube feeding to maintain nutrition, or a surgical procedure to help reduce severe symptoms, can be tried.
Gastroparesis most often strikes adults, though it can occur in people of all ages. In most of those affected by the condition the cause is unknown, termed “idiopathic,” however it can also occur as a complication of other diseases, such as long-standing diabetes, surgeries, especially those involving the esophagus or upper abdomen, or certain medications.
During Gastroparesis Awareness Month, IFFGD encourages individuals, health professionals, and educators to draw attention to the condition in order to help people affected find needed care.
IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization that addresses issues surrounding life with functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders. Additional information about gastroparesis and other chronic digestive disorders is available on IFFGD’s websites at www.aboutGastroparesis.org or at www.iffgd.org.