Diabetics - Beware of Bezoars!

March 3rd, 2011

Bezoars were once prized as magical charms with protective properties. Modern day bezoars are now being battled with weapons like meat tenderizer and Coca Cola, especially in diabetic gastroparesis.

A bezoar is a mass of hardened, undigested food or other material trapped in the digestive system, usually the stomach. Bezoars can also form in the large intestine, the trachea, and the esophagus (especially in children).

The word "bezoar" comes from the Persian for "protection from poison". Bezoars from animals were once believed to be antidotes for any type of poison, and were highly prized and sought after in Europe as a type of medical good luck charm for centuries.

People would place bezoars in their drinking glasses as an antidote to any potential poisons, and even set them into jewelry. There was a gold-framed bezoar in the Crown Jewels of Queen Elizabeth I as recently as 1962. Animal bezoars are still in demand from some practitioners of Asian medicine.

Bezoars are often found in people with diabetes mellitus and impaired gastric functioning, both of which can cause underactive digestive systems. Food that sits motionless in the digestive system mixes with mucus and solidifies into a stone-like lump.

Bezoars are classified by their content. Phytobezoars are the most common type, and are formed from undigested plant material. A diospyrobezoar is a common sub-type of phytobezoar formed specifically by the consumption of unripe persimmons.

Pharmacobezoars are masses of undigested drugs, usually found after an overdose of sustained release medications or antacids. Lactobezoars are formed from milk and other dairy products.

Trichobezoars are basically a large hairball, and are usually the result of a psychiatric condition called trichophagia which involves the compulsive pulling out and eating of hair, which humans can not digest. In 2007, Chicago surgeons removed a ten-pound hairball from the stomach of a young woman with the condition.

Doctors usually treat bezoars by attempting to dissolve them with enzymes, with many doctors directing their patients to swallow meat tenderizer. Severe cases may require surgery, laser therapy or shock wave therapy. Since 2002, there have been a number of cases, primarily in diabetes mellitus patients, where doctors successfully used Coca Cola therapy to dissolve diospyrobezoars.

One documented case involved a diabetic gastroparesis patient with three large diospyrobezoars in his stomach. He was instructed to drink two cans of Coke every six hours. Within 24 hours, the bezoars softened and began to dissolve. The doctors then injected cola directly into each bezoar, which caused them to completely dissolve by the next day. Doctors aren't sure why cola helps dissolve bezoars, but assume it's because of its acidity, possibly aided by its carbonation.

The symptoms of a bezoar are similar to those of gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying), and include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and a feeling of being full after eating a small amount of food. As diabetes and gastroparesis often occur together, any such symptoms should be taken seriously by a diabetic.

Six Signs You May Have Gastroparesis

April 18th, 2011

stomach
Gastroparesis sounds like a long and scary word. In laymen's terms, it's a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion, using the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food from the stomach through the digestive tract.

Gastroparesis happens when the vagus nerve is damaged, and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. So, if your stomach has been feeling sluggish, read on for some common gastroparesis symptoms.

Are you diabetic? It doesn't seem fair to add yet another ailment to your list when you're already dealing with diabetes, but unfortunately the most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes. Why? People with diabetes have high blood glucose, or blood sugar, which in turn causes chemical changes in nerves, and damages the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Over time, high blood glucose can damage the vagus nerve.

  • Do you have heartburn or pain in your upper abdomen?
  • Are you nauseous after eating a meal?
  • Do you vomit up undigested food—sometimes several hours after a meal?

  • Do you have an early feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food?

These are all signs you may have gastroparesis, as if the meal you've just devoured is at a stomach standstill, it can easily come back up.

  • Are you experiencing unexpected weight loss?This could be due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake, common side affects of gastroparesis.

  • Other common symptoms to take note of are abdominal bloating, a lack of appetite and gastroesophageal reflux.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of gastroparesis may be mild or severe, depending on the person. Many people with gastroparesis experience a wide range of symptoms, which makes the disorder difficult for the physician to diagnose. If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, the best strategy is to keep a food diary with a detailed list of symptoms that arise after certain meals have been ingested. Once you have some documentation to show your doctor, schedule an appointment.

As far as easing of suffering goes, the treatment of gastroparesis depends on the severity of the symptoms. Treatment helps you manage the condition so you can be as healthy and comfortable as possible, as in most cases, treatment does not cure gastroparesis.

A common medication prescribed in many countries for gastroparesis is prescription medication Motilium, or its cheaper form, generic domperidone. The FDA has not approved prescription domperidone for sale in the US, but you can buy prescription domperidone online through a licensed online Canadian pharmacy with a valid doctor's prescription. With any health uncertainties, the key to finding answers is to listen to your body and then report your findings to a trusted doctor.

Six Signs You May Have Gastroparesis

April 18th, 2011

stomach
Gastroparesis sounds like a long and scary word. In laymen's terms, it's a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion, using the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food from the stomach through the digestive tract.

Gastroparesis happens when the vagus nerve is damaged, and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. So, if your stomach has been feeling sluggish, read on for some common gastroparesis symptoms.

Are you diabetic? It doesn't seem fair to add yet another ailment to your list when you're already dealing with diabetes, but unfortunately the most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes. Why? People with diabetes have high blood glucose, or blood sugar, which in turn causes chemical changes in nerves, and damages the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Over time, high blood glucose can damage the vagus nerve.

  • Do you have heartburn or pain in your upper abdomen?
  • Are you nauseous after eating a meal?
  • Do you vomit up undigested food—sometimes several hours after a meal?

  • Do you have an early feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food?

These are all signs you may have gastroparesis, as if the meal you've just devoured is at a stomach standstill, it can easily come back up.

  • Are you experiencing unexpected weight loss?This could be due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake, common side affects of gastroparesis.

  • Other common symptoms to take note of are abdominal bloating, a lack of appetite and gastroesophageal reflux.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of gastroparesis may be mild or severe, depending on the person. Many people with gastroparesis experience a wide range of symptoms, which makes the disorder difficult for the physician to diagnose. If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, the best strategy is to keep a food diary with a detailed list of symptoms that arise after certain meals have been ingested. Once you have some documentation to show your doctor, schedule an appointment.

As far as easing of suffering goes, the treatment of gastroparesis depends on the severity of the symptoms. Treatment helps you manage the condition so you can be as healthy and comfortable as possible, as in most cases, treatment does not cure gastroparesis.

A common medication prescribed in many countries for gastroparesis is prescription medication Motilium, or its cheaper form, generic domperidone. The FDA has not approved prescription domperidone for sale in the US, but you can buy prescription domperidone online through a licensed online Canadian pharmacy with a valid doctor's prescription. With any health uncertainties, the key to finding answers is to listen to your body and then report your findings to a trusted doctor.

Diabetes and Gastroparesis: A Vicious Cycle

July 18th, 2011

Diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis, or delayed stomach emptying. That's because years of high blood glucose damage the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food from the stomach through the digestive tract. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at risk of gastroparesis.

When the vagus nerve is damaged, food either moves too slowly through the digestive system, or doesn't move at all. As a result, people with gastroparesis often feel bloated, feel full after eating a small amount, and may experience heartburn, stomach and abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and acid reflux.

Gastroparesis is a vicious cycle for a diabetic. Not only does uncontrolled blood sugar lead to gastroparesis, gastroparesis leads to poor blood sugar control due to the irregular passage of food through the digestive system. When food is finally absorbed, blood sugar levels may rise unexpectedly.

Diabetics with gastroparesis must check their blood glucose regularly. They may need to adjust their insulin therapy by changing their insulin dose, the type of insulin they take, or the time of day they take it.

Gastroparesis Diagnosis

Gastroparesis can be difficult to diagnose because of the wide range of both type and severity of symptoms. The condition is usually confirmed with stomach x-rays, a manometer (a device that measures pressure and muscle movements), and gastric emptying scans.

Until recently, those undergoing gastric emptying scans were given egg meal mixed with a radioactive isotope to allow tracking of the stomach contents using radioactivity detectors - a process called radiolabeling. This posed a problem for those patients who were allergic to eggs, or couldn't eat them for religious or lifestyle reasons.

Recently, nuclear medicine researchers discovered a way to incorporate the isotopes into instant oatmeal instead of egg meal. Radiolabeling using both regular and gluten free oatmeal proved just as effective for the molecular imaging of gastric emptying as the tests using standard egg meal.

Gastroparesis Treatment

Gastroparesis is almost always a chronic condition. It can be treated, but rarely cured. There are two main treatment goals for diabetics with gastroparesis - to improve stomach emptying, and to control blood sugar levels.

Patients are advised to avoid high fat and high fiber foods, to eat frequent small meals for easier digestion, and in some cases to eat only pureed or liquid meals until their symptoms improve.

If dietary changes alone don't help, the next line of treatment in the US is usually prescription metoclopramide to treat nausea and vomiting, and to facilitate gastric emptying. Due to the risk of side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, weakness and irreversible movement disorders, it is only approved for short-term treatment. The risk of developing a permanent movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia) is higher for people with diabetes.

Less frequently, the antibiotic erythromycin is prescribed to speed up stomach emptying. Like metoclopramide, it can have serious side effects, and can worsen symptoms like nausea.

Prescription domperidone (Motilium) is the preferred treatment in most countries, and has been for many years. Domperidone both aids gastric emptying and eases gastroparesis symptoms. Side effects of domperidone are less serious, and tend to disappear as the body adjusts to the medication.

But, despite numerous US clinical trials that established its safety and effectiveness, and the fact its own division of gastrointestinal drugs approved the use of domperidone, the FDA has still not given domperidone for gastroparesis the green light.

However, the FDA is encouraging doctors who would like to prescribe domperidone to patients with severe gastrointestinal disorders to make an Investigational New Drug application, which would allow them to purchase domperidone and administer it to their patients.

In the meantime, the fight for domperidone FDA approval continues. The Gastroparesis Patient Association is circulating an online petition to urge the FDA to review its decision on domperidone medication.

Diabetes and Gastroparesis: A Vicious Cycle

July 18th, 2011

Diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis, or delayed stomach emptying. That's because years of high blood glucose damage the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food from the stomach through the digestive tract. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at risk of gastroparesis.

When the vagus nerve is damaged, food either moves too slowly through the digestive system, or doesn't move at all. As a result, people with gastroparesis often feel bloated, feel full after eating a small amount, and may experience heartburn, stomach and abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and acid reflux.

Gastroparesis is a vicious cycle for a diabetic. Not only does uncontrolled blood sugar lead to gastroparesis, gastroparesis leads to poor blood sugar control due to the irregular passage of food through the digestive system. When food is finally absorbed, blood sugar levels may rise unexpectedly.

Diabetics with gastroparesis must check their blood glucose regularly. They may need to adjust their insulin therapy by changing their insulin dose, the type of insulin they take, or the time of day they take it.

Gastroparesis Diagnosis

Gastroparesis can be difficult to diagnose because of the wide range of both type and severity of symptoms. The condition is usually confirmed with stomach x-rays, a manometer (a device that measures pressure and muscle movements), and gastric emptying scans.

Until recently, those undergoing gastric emptying scans were given egg meal mixed with a radioactive isotope to allow tracking of the stomach contents using radioactivity detectors - a process called radiolabeling. This posed a problem for those patients who were allergic to eggs, or couldn't eat them for religious or lifestyle reasons.

Recently, nuclear medicine researchers discovered a way to incorporate the isotopes into instant oatmeal instead of egg meal. Radiolabeling using both regular and gluten free oatmeal proved just as effective for the molecular imaging of gastric emptying as the tests using standard egg meal.

Gastroparesis Treatment

Gastroparesis is almost always a chronic condition. It can be treated, but rarely cured. There are two main treatment goals for diabetics with gastroparesis - to improve stomach emptying, and to control blood sugar levels.

Patients are advised to avoid high fat and high fiber foods, to eat frequent small meals for easier digestion, and in some cases to eat only pureed or liquid meals until their symptoms improve.

If dietary changes alone don't help, the next line of treatment in the US is usually prescription metoclopramide to treat nausea and vomiting, and to facilitate gastric emptying. Due to the risk of side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, weakness and irreversible movement disorders, it is only approved for short-term treatment. The risk of developing a permanent movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia) is higher for people with diabetes.

Less frequently, the antibiotic erythromycin is prescribed to speed up stomach emptying. Like metoclopramide, it can have serious side effects, and can worsen symptoms like nausea.

Prescription domperidone (Motilium) is the preferred treatment in most countries, and has been for many years. Domperidone both aids gastric emptying and eases gastroparesis symptoms. Side effects of domperidone are less serious, and tend to disappear as the body adjusts to the medication.

But, despite numerous US clinical trials that established its safety and effectiveness, and the fact its own division of gastrointestinal drugs approved the use of domperidone, the FDA has still not given domperidone for gastroparesis the green light.

However, the FDA is encouraging doctors who would like to prescribe domperidone to patients with severe gastrointestinal disorders to make an Investigational New Drug application, which would allow them to purchase domperidone and administer it to their patients.

In the meantime, the fight for domperidone FDA approval continues. The Gastroparesis Patient Association is circulating an online petition to urge the FDA to review its decision on domperidone medication.

Diabetes and Gastroparesis Linked

November 15th, 2011

Many people with diabetes suffer from gastroparesis, or slow stomach emptying. As a matter or fact, diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis. That's because chronic high blood glucose levels can damage the vagus nerve - which controls the movement of food down through the digestive tract.

In a double whammy, gastroparesis can make diabetes worse by making blood glucose control more difficult. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise. Since gastroparesis makes stomach emptying unpredictable, a person's blood glucose levels can be erratic and difficult to control - a diabetic's nightmare.

How do you self-treat gastroparesis? The simplest and healthiest option is to change your eating habits. Eat six small meals a day instead of three large ones to prevent the stomach from becoming overly full. Avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods, as fat naturally slows digestion and fiber is difficult to digest. If you have gastroparesis, carbonated beverages are also not your friend. In more severe cases, a liquid or pureed diet may be required for awhile.

If a dietary adjustment isn't providing the relief from gastroparesis you need, there is a medicinal option in the form of prescription domperidone. Doctors prescribe domperidone for gastroparesis and other digestive ailments across the world. Both generic domperidone, and its equivalent name brand Motilium, have been available in Canada for many years.

To learn more about which basic dietary guidelines for gastroparesis, and to watch a video explaining the disease and the connection between diabetes and gastroparesis on hubpages.com, >Click Here<.

Diabetes and Gastroparesis Linked

November 15th, 2011

Many people with diabetes suffer from gastroparesis, or slow stomach emptying. As a matter or fact, diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis. That's because chronic high blood glucose levels can damage the vagus nerve - which controls the movement of food down through the digestive tract.

In a double whammy, gastroparesis can make diabetes worse by making blood glucose control more difficult. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise. Since gastroparesis makes stomach emptying unpredictable, a person's blood glucose levels can be erratic and difficult to control - a diabetic's nightmare.

How do you self-treat gastroparesis? The simplest and healthiest option is to change your eating habits. Eat six small meals a day instead of three large ones to prevent the stomach from becoming overly full. Avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods, as fat naturally slows digestion and fiber is difficult to digest. If you have gastroparesis, carbonated beverages are also not your friend. In more severe cases, a liquid or pureed diet may be required for awhile.

If a dietary adjustment isn't providing the relief from gastroparesis you need, there is a medicinal option in the form of prescription domperidone. Doctors prescribe domperidone for gastroparesis and other digestive ailments across the world. Both generic domperidone, and its equivalent name brand Motilium, have been available in Canada for many years.

To learn more about which basic dietary guidelines for gastroparesis, and to watch a video explaining the disease and the connection between diabetes and gastroparesis on hubpages.com, >Click Here<.

SmartPill Helps with Diagnosing Diabetes and Gastroparesis

December 23rd, 2011

New technology is allowing doctors to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders easier than ever before. The SmartPill GI Monitoring System is a capsule monitoring device that is ingested by the patient at the doctor's office. The patient is then fitted with the wireless data receiver. The receiver can be attached to the patient's belt for easy mobility. The SmartPill capsule, which is about the size of a large multivitamin, can be easily worked through the gastrointestinal tract. While on its "travels" the SmartPill collects data such as pressure, pH and temperature levels, which are sent to the wireless receiver. This data is then used by the doctor to determine the disorder that the patient is suffering.

The SmartPill procedure is intended to replace costly and invasive procedures to determine the cause of gastrointestinal symptoms. Patients who have experienced unexplained vomiting, stomach spasms or bloating can relax now that they do not have to undergo surgery.

Diabetics in particular are more likely to need this diagnosing system. Due to their different digestive systems, diabetics are more prone to gastrointestinal tract disorders. The SmartPill system will be able to help doctors better evaluate and diagnose their diabetic patients.

The SmartPill GI Monitoring System will be particularly helpful in diagnosing disorders such as gastroparesis, which is delayed stomach emptying. Gastroparesis affects millions of Americans every year, especially those with existing disorders such as diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome.

For diabetics, gastroparesis makes controlling blood sugar levels more difficult, as a delay in digestion causes blood glucose levels to rapidly rise when food enters the small intestine. This causes glucose levels to be erratic and difficult to control.

Once the patient's SmartPill results have been examined, doctors can more effectively diagnose the symptoms, and more precisely prescribe what is needed. For gastroparesis, doctors often prescribe Motilium, or its generic equivalent, domperidone. Domperidone, a dopamine antagonist, works on the gastrointestinal tract by both promoting gastric movement and easing gastroparesis symptoms. These effects are created by works by blocking the action of a chemical messenger in the brain which causes the feeling of nausea and vomiting, as well as by increasing the movement or contractions of the stomach and intestines, allowing food to move more easily through the stomach.