Gastroparesis is the literal paralysis of the stomach, characterized by WebMD.com as a condition that inhibits the stomach from emptying properly. Gastroparesis affects stomach contractions, which move food from the stomach into the large intestine where digested food is emptied. If stomach contractions don’t work to empty the stomach properly, gastro-discomfort can occur (i.e., nausea, bloating, vomiting) and individuals can suffer nutritional deficiencies as a result.
Here are six common causes and symptoms that accompany gastroparesis…
1. Existing Medical Conditions
The most common causes linked to gastroparesis by MedicalNewsToday.com include existing health conditions, such as a viral infection, eating disorder, cancer with radiation and/or chemotherapy, and gastric surgery (or stomach surgery) that causes vagus nerve damage. Specific medications can also trigger gastroparesis (i.e., progesterone, lithium, antidepressants, clonidine, and calcium channel blockers). Use of nicotine, especially smoking over the long term is also common in gastroparesis patients.
Certain chronic diseases—such as uncontrolled diabetes, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease—have also been associated with the development of gastroparesis. Rare conditions that impact the functioning of connective tissues, blood vessels, skin, muscles, and internal organs (i.e., scleroderma and amyloidosis) have also been linked to causing digestive stomach issues.