5 comments / 0 Comments / Posted by Sherry Brescia

Every now and then, we all feel a little sluggish, whether we’re fighting a virus, not sleeping well, or staying up late working or studying.

But it's quite a different story when your stomach is sluggish.

Here's the scoop on having a pooped out stomach--otherwise known as gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis--the "paralyzed stomach"

Gastroparesis literally means "paralyzed stomach."

It occurs when the muscles in your stomach don't open properly to let your partially digested food (called "chyme"—pronounced “kime”) pass into the upper portion of your small intestine (the duodenum).

This is a serious matter for two reasons.

For one, the duodenum is the "Grand Central Station" of your GI tract.  Here is where the most digestive action takes place--not in your stomach as so many people believe.

So if your chyme isn't passing into your intestinal hot spot like it should, your digestion can get majorly messed up!

And that can mean problems like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and poor nutrient absorption.

You can also suffer from vomiting, nausea, heartburn and lack of appetite.

The guest that stayed too long...

The second reason gastroparesis is serious is because if your food isn’t moving along like it should, that means it's overstaying its welcome in your stomach.

When this happens the food can actually harden, forming a blob known as a bezoar and causing a blockage that can be life-threatening.

In addition, it can cause harmful bacteria overgrowth in your stomach, and make diabetes worse by hampering blood glucose control.

Why is my stomach too pooped to pop?

Causes of gastroparesis can vary and may include:

  • Damage or malfunction of the vagus nerve that runs down from your brain stem, wraps around various organs and ends in your abdominal area.   
  • Diabetes--which can cause vagus nerve damage
  • H. pylori infection in the stomach
  • Medications (like anticholinergics and narcotics) that slow contractions in the GI tract
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Viral infection
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Nervous system disorders like Parkinson's
  • Idiopathic—no known cause

So what happens now?

Gastroparesis is usually diagnosed by a scope, ultrasound or a Smart Pill--a wireless electronic capsule you swallow that looks around at your innards, transmits data to a little receiver that you wear on your hip, and eventually makes its way to your toilet bowl.

As far as treatment goes, doctors usually aim for symptomatic relief, like drugs to control nausea and vomiting, or antibiotics for H. pylori or harmful bacteria.

Another option is medications like Reglan to stimulate the muscle contractions in the stomach.  But that comes with a deadly price...because Reglan can cause an irreversible condition called "tardive dyskinesia." 

Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by repetitive, involuntary, uncontrollable movements such as grimacing, sticking out your tongue, lip smacking, puckering, rapid eye blinking and limb movements.

I think I’ll opt for the slow stomach, thank you.

Safer, natural options

The good news is there are safer options that can help tremendously with gastroparesis including:

1) Probiotics

The friendly bacteria in your GI tract help to break down your foods and aid in nutrient absorption, plus they can help counteract any harmful bacteria overgrowth or H. pylori infection you may have.  A full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield can help repopulate your supply of these beneficial microbes and bring your flora balance back to a stronger, health-supporting range.

2)  Make your meals easier to digest

When your stomach is challenged in its ability to move food through, then it makes sense to make your meals easier to digest in the first place.

Avoid eating proteins and starches together in the same meal.  I know it’s not what you’re used to—most people eat meat and potatoes and similar meals—but this combination is extremely taxing on your body and is a leading cause of heartburn.  Instead pair meats OR starches with vegetables and a salad. 

You will be shocked at the difference it makes in your digestion.

3) Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to help the digestive process.  Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink it 15 to 20 minutes before a meal.

Be sure to choose raw, unfiltered ACV that has “the mother.”

4) Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a key role in the health of your enteric nervous system, and without adequate vitamin D, your immune, digestive and neurological health suffer.  Unfortunately, it’s also a common deficiency, especially this time of year because people are not out in the sun. 

A top-quality product like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B® can help ensure you have enough of this crucial nutrient 365 days a year.  

5) Acupuncture

Acupuncture can relieve gastroparesis symptoms like nausea, vomiting and bloating. It can also help improve neurological functions as well as boost immunity.

6) Lipoic acid

This is especially helpful for diabetes-induced gastroparesis.  Lipoic acid helps liver function and regulation of blood sugar, plus it also happens to be an outstanding antioxidant. 

Lipoic acid is available as a stand-alone supplement or as part of a complete multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core.

See what a difference in can make to help kick your digestion into action and support your digestive and overall health!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

Comments

  • Posted On February 15, 2017 by Holistic Blends

    @Greg – Here is the information we have for you: Lectins are sticky proteins that can bind to the villi in the small intestine, causing GI distress and hampering nutrient absorption. In that respect, they are similar to gluten. Some people are more sensitive to their effects than others.

    Lectins are found in practically all animal and plant foods, so eliminating them 100% would be next to impossible. However, they are found in highest concentrations in grains, legumes, nuts and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and potatoes).

    For someone that is highly sensitive to lectins, avoidance of those foods will be helpful. But keep in mind that those foods also contain very valuable nutrients and fiber, so they have their “good side” too and don’t necessarily have to be completely avoided in the absence of sensitivity. They may continue to be part of an overall healthy diet, as long as the person eats a wide variety of fresh real foods.

    And in any case, gut health is always important, and that’s where prebiotics and probiotics come in. Both are important—prebiotics help nourish your friendly gut bacteria, and probiotics help repopulate your supply of helpful intestinal microbes. Simply put, you’ve got to have a big enough army of them to begin with, and that army has to be healthy and strong! Sticking to prebiotics only assumes that you have a sufficient supply of helpful bacteria, which for many people is simply not the case. There are too many factors that can affect your intestinal microbe population including smoking, stress, chlorinated water, environmental toxins, medications (especially antibiotics and birth control pills), high consumption of refined carbohydrates (which feed harmful yeasts) and chronic constipation.

    Have a great day!

  • Posted On February 15, 2017 by Holistic Blends

    @Greg – We are gathering some information for your question and will respond again shortly. Thank you so much!

  • Posted On February 15, 2017 by Greg Rutledge

    Sherry:
    In listening to an on-line discussion by Dr. Steven Gundry on MSN the other day, he talked about 4 foods to avoid completely because they contained LECTINS ie., tomatoes, beans, cashews and grains. What are your thoughts on this subject?
    Likewise, he was advocating taking PREBIOTICS as being more beneficial than probiotics. Your thoughts on this would also be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Greg

  • Posted On February 14, 2017 by Holistic Blends

    @Leslie – Thank you for your comment! Have a great day.

  • Posted On February 14, 2017 by LESLIE GOTTLIEB

    I have been suffering from gastroparesis for almost 7 years that began with an h.pylori infection, worked up to IBS-C and then worked up to gastroparesis for the last 7 years. It is a living hell and until I took the smart pill, did not know that I was 96 hours behind in digestion. I live on all types of medication including LINZESS, DONNATAL, MARINOL, and POLYGLYGOLAX twice a day and also COMPAZINE for the nausea. I live on a basically liquid diet and what turns into liquid b/c all else clumps up in the cecum. I would suggest seeing a gastrodoc who is highly versed in motility. I wish you all luck.

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