Digestive System Disorder Case Study: Gastroparesis

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The paper opens with an introduction and definintion of Gastroparesis and its association to damaging of vagus nerves along the intestines and stomach muscles. This reduces their ability for function properly. People living with diabetes have a higher likelihood of advancing Gastroparesis against sequential Diabetic Gastroparesis. More persons are contracting Gastroparesis during surgical operations. The paper illustrates that more patients are yet to find a cause linking their illnesses with Gastroparesis because it triggers Idiopathic Gastroparesis. The scope of Gastroparesis has a close link to diseases of connective tissue such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as well as scleroderma. The neurological conditions worsen along Parkinson’s disease. The paper concludes with proposals of Gastroparesis diagnosis through tests carried out on gastric emptying scans, x-rays, and manometry. Clinical Gastroparesis takes the definition of stomach emptying complications. There are beneficial adjustments to insulin dosage among diabetic people who use parenteral nutrition, implanted gastric neurostimulators, and jejunostomy tubes.

Case Study analysis

Gastroparesis is popularly known as delayed gastric emptying. This medical condition involves paresis and partial paralysis from the stomach. This results when more food remain around the stomach area for a longer period. In such case, the stomach makes contractions to induce movement of the food down to small intestines for extended digestion. Vagus nerves control the contractions. The Gastroparesis is developed when vagus nerves are damaged and the stomach and intestines muscles do not function properly. Food continues to move slowly and stops continuous motion across the digestive tract.

In such case, strong muscular contractions move the food across the digestive tract. However, the Gastroparesis condition allows the stomach’s motility to works in tandem with the digestive system (Ellenburg, 2012). The implication is that there is prevention of stomach solicitation of emptying food properly. Gastroparesis interferes with the normal cycle of digestion that causes vomiting and nausea, as well as problems with nutrition and blood sugar levels. The Gastroparesis cause is started as unknown (Parkman & McCallum, 2011). Even as more people suffer from the illness, it is popular as the Idiopathic Gastroparesis. For people with diabetes, the likelihood of developing Gastroparesis heightens with the sequential Diabetic Gastroparesis. More people contract Gastroparesis during surgery.

Gastroparesis results from the damage of the vagus nerve, which often controls the muscles of the stomach. This occurs during procedures of surgery to the stomach and esophagus. Scleroderma is one of the diseases that Gastroparesis focuses on developing in line with damaging the muscles of the stomach. Further, Gastroparesis is established through reflexes of the nervous system such as times that the pancreas becomes inflamed (pancreatitis). For pancreatitis, the stomach’s muscles and the nerves are not diseased. However, more messages are channeled through nerves across the pancreas into the stomach. This prevents the muscles from functioning the normal way (Sethi & Murthi, 2011). The major causes of Gastroparesis include imbalances of minerals within the blood system such as magnesium, calcium or potassium, medications for narcotic pain-relievers and the thyroid disease. Substantial amounts of patients do not have a cause that is found to link with the Gastroparesis, as it is a condition of the Idiopathic Gastroparesis. Idiopathic Gastroparesis remains a frequent influence of Gastroparesis for patients with diabetes.

There are different symptoms of Gastroparesis such as chronic nausea, abdominal bloating, and lack of appetite, heartburn, palpitations, abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux, and vomiting (undigested food). Others include feelings of fullness after having a meal, erratic blood glucose levels, Weight loss and malnutrition, and stomach wall spasms. Morning nausea is a symptom of Gastroparesis. Vomiting does not occur in most cases while patients may choose to adjust their diets for purposes of including smaller food amounts (Ellenburg, 2012).

Transient Gastroparesis arises among acute illnesses of kinds through consequential cancer treatments and other drugs that affect digestive action and abnormal eating patterns. There are frequent causes of autonomic neuropathy. The implication includes occurrences among people having type 2 or type 1 diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is named as a common trigger for Gastroparesis because high blood glucose levels may affect changes in chemical substances and transmission within the nerves (Parkman & McCallum, 2011). Vagus nerves become damaged due to years of insufficient glucose transport or high blood glucose in the cells that result in Gastroparesis. Alternative causes of the same include bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa that cause damage to the vagus nerve. Gastroparesis is closely linked to connective tissue diseases like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and scleroderma as well as the neurological conditions of Parkinson’s disease. In extreme conditions, the illness is perceived in mitochondrial diseases (Ellenburg, 2012).

The chronic Gastroparesis is caused by alternative forms of damage to vagus nerves including the abdominal surgery. Intense cigarette smoking becomes one of the plausible causes as smoking damage the stomach lining. Idiopathic Gastroparesis does not have a known cause and accounts for close to a third of global chronic cases (Sethi & Murthi, 2011). The is just one of the many cases of autoimmune responses triggered by acute viral infections. Stomach flu, mononucleosis among other ailments is anecdotally connected to the contentions of onset without systematic study as proven by its linkage.

The primary Gastroparesis complications include blood glucose fluctuations due to unpredictable digestion moments for diabetic patients. Further, general malnutrition is based on the disease symptoms with frequent inclusion of reduced appetite and vomiting coupled with the dietary changes. The right moments are necessary for managing severe weight loss and fatigue due to deficits of calories.

Gastroparesis patients have a disproportionate trend towards females. A possible explanation for the findings is that females have inherently lower rates of stomach emptying time as compared to men. Hormonal links are suggested to be Gastroparesis symptoms as they are worse in times of menstruation as progesterone levels are very high (Sethi & Murthi, 2011). Gastroparesis is diagnosed using tests of gastric emptying scans, manometry, and x-rays. Clinical Gastroparesis definition is based on the stomach emptying time above other symptoms.

The focus is also based on the severity of symptoms without necessarily correlating with the Gastroparesis severity. For this reason, patients mark Gastroparesis with few serious complications. Treatment of the condition includes dietary changes such as low-fiber and residue diets coupled with restrictions on fat and solids. Further, it is important to take up oral prokinetic medications including metoclopramide (Reglan, Maxolon, and Chopra) and cisapride (Propulsid), and erythromycin (E-Mycin and Erythrocin). It is beneficial to adjust insulin dosage for people with diabetes using jejunostomy tubes, parenteral nutrition, and implanted gastric neurostimulators.


Ellenburg, M.A., (2012). Gastroparesis: Causes, Tests and Treatment Options. New York: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Parkman, H.P., & McCallum, R.W. (2011). Gastroparesis: Pathophysiology, Presentation and Treatment. New York: Springer

Sethi, A.K., & Murthi, R.K., (2011). Bowl Care and Digestive Disorders. New York: V&S Publishers