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Gastroparesis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Gastroparesis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • gastropathy
  • gastroparesis diabeticorum
  • gastrointestinal autonomic neuropathy
  • gastric stasis
  • gastric atony
  • delayed gastric emptying
  • gastric dysmotility
  • severe functional dyspepsia

Disorder Subdivisions

  • diabetic gastroparesis
  • idiopathic gastroparesis
  • post-surgical gastroparesis

General Discussion

Gastroparesis (abbreviated as GP) represents a clinical syndrome characterized by sluggish emptying of solid food (and more rarely, liquid nutrients) from the stomach, which causes persistent digestive symptoms especially nausea and primarily affects young to middle-aged women, but is also known to affect younger children and males. Diagnosis is made based upon a radiographic gastric emptying test. Diabetics and those acquiring gastroparesis for unknown (or, idiopathic) causes represent the two largest groups of gastroparetic patients; however, numerous etiologies (both rare and common) can lead to a gastroparesis syndrome.

Gastroparesis is also known as delayed gastric emptying and is an old term that does not adequately describe all the motor impairments that may occur within the gastroparetic stomach. Furthermore, there is no expert agreement on the use of the term, gastroparesis. Some specialists will reserve the term, gastroparesis, for grossly impaired emptying of the stomach while retaining the label of delayed gastric emptying, or functional dyspepsia (non-ulcer dyspepsia), for less pronounced evidence of impaired emptying. These terms are all very subjective. There is no scientific basis by which to separate functional dyspepsia from classical gastroparesis except by symptom intensity. In both conditions, there is significant overlap in treatment, symptomatology and underlying physiological disturbances of stomach function.

For the most part, the finding of delayed emptying (gastric stasis) provides a "marker" for a gastric motility problem. Regardless, the symptoms generated by the stomach dysmotility greatly impair quality of life for the vast majority of patients and disable about 1 in 10 patients with the condition.

While delayed emptying of the stomach is the clinical feature of gastroparesis, the relationship between the degree of delay in emptying and the intensity of digestive symptoms does not always match. For instance, some diabetics may exhibit pronounced gastric stasis yet suffer very little from the classical gastroparetic symptoms of: nausea, vomiting, reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, fullness, and loss of appetite. Rather, erratic blood-glucose control and life-threatening hypoglycemic episodes may be the only indication of diabetic gastroparesis. In another subset of patients (diabetic and non-diabetic) who suffer from disabling nausea that is to the degree that their ability to eat, sleep or carry out activities of daily living is disrupted gastric emptying may be normal, near normal, or intermittently delayed. In such cases, a gastric neuro-electrical dysfunction, or gastric dysrhythmia (commonly found associated with gastroparesis syndrome), may be at fault.

Therefore, these disorders of functional dyspepsia, gastric dysrhythms, and gastroparesis are all descriptive labels sharing similar symptoms and perhaps representing a similar entity of disordered gastric neuromuscular function. For this reason, a more encompassing term, gastropathy, can be used interchangeably with gastroparesis.

Resources

Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc.
12 Roberts Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
Tel: (781)275-1300
Fax: (781)275-1304
Email: gimotility@gmx.com
Internet: http://www.agmd-gimotility.org

American Diabetes Association
1701 N. Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Tel: (703)549-1500
Fax: (703)549-6995
Tel: (800)342-2383
Email: askADA@diabetes.org
Internet: http://www.diabetes.org

Digestive Disease National Coalition
507 Capitol Court, NE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202)544-7497
Fax: (202)546-7105
Email: ddnc@hmcw.org
Internet: http://www.ddnc.org

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
700 W. Virginia St., 201
Milwaukee, WI 53217
USA
Tel: (414)964-1799
Fax: (414)964-7176
Tel: (888)964-2001
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Internet: http://www.iffgd.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

International Scleroderma Network
7455 France Ave So #266
Edina, MN 55435-4702
Tel: (952)583-5735
Tel: (800)564-7099
Email: isn@sclero.org
Internet: http://www.sclero.org

Gastroparesis & Dysmotilities Association
5520 Dalhart Hill N.W.
Calgary, AB, T3A 1S9
Canada
Tel: 4032473215
Email: jkf@gpda.net
Internet: http://www.digestivedistress.com

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  3/16/2012
Copyright  2009, 2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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