The GP Ripple Effect
I know I always say that I want to find a cure for GP (gastroparesis). That is true. But can be a misleading statement. The fact is, Gastroparesis needs a cause.
What do I mean? Well, GP is a functional disorder. Something must cause the motility disorder (GP). One day you just don’t wake up and have a puppy in the room. Something must have caused the event.
Unfortunately, the ‘experts’ do not know all of the causes for GP. This would be why I have been labeled ‘Idiopathic’. Which simply means ‘of unknown cause’. So helpful, right?!
List of the known causes of gastroparesis:
- Surgery where the Vagus Nerve is damaged
- Diabetes – Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the vagus nerve.
- Metabolic disorders (hypothyroidism)
- Chronic Illness – such as: HIV, Parkinson’s and Pancreatitis.
- Medications/Treatments – such as: narcotic pain medicines, cancer treatments, lithium, and tricyclic antidepressants.
- Post-Infectious of Post-Viral Gastroparesis – the following viruses have been documented to cause GP:
- Norwalk virus (stomach flu)
- Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis)
- Herpes simplex virus
- Parasitic infections—Chagas’ disease and schistosomiasis infection, for instance.
- Varicella virus (Chickenpox)
- Rotavirus (causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines)
Once we find the cause to our individual GP, then (and only then) can we adequately treat our self.
This is also a big reason why many of us have different GP symptoms, trigger foods, and tolerances; that you may have seen in the GP Groups that are out there. We must always keep in mind that we are all different and know that when we share what works for us, it may not work for the other person.
Lastly, not knowing what caused the idiopathic gastroparesis you may get a wide range of time frames that your doctors will throw at you as to when to expect you will be better. Keep in mind that honestly, they do not know. They can only tell you what they have witnessed with other patients and what they learn in their medical books. For example, if gastroparesis is caused by a virus then typically your symptoms can get better anywhere from 6 months to 12 months from the quick onset of the GP symptoms. The virus can then lay dormant for a period of time and come back again. We simply do not know for sure the key questions of ‘when’ and ‘why’. I would like to touch base on those that had their vagus nerve severed (surgery or accident). From what I understand, GP will not go away because the nerve to function your stomach is severed and can no longer perform it’s function. On the up-side, the medical community has made ground breaking research on stem cell research and there is hope one day the nerve can be fixed. Since research is so young in this area, it will take time and money. Now we are back at needing awareness, education and to fight for funding so we can all have a better quality of life!
I call it: The GP Ripple Effect. Picture being in front of a calm lake, soaking up the sun, warm sand under your feet. You pick up a flat stone to skip across the lake. Let’s name the first stone you are about to toss “GP Cause”. You flick your wrist, skipping the stone across the calm, mirrored pond with such great skill. It skips several times. Your best ever! In it wake it leaving several ripples. The first ripple is “Gastroparesis”. The next ripple will be your illness or symptom because of Gastroparesis (first ripple). This can be GERD or Nausea. Do this for each ripple going out from the first stone you cast (or in this case the GP Cause -stone). For me it would be: Gastroparesis, Nausea, Pain, Fatigue (I could go on). This is what I call “The GP Ripple Effect”. Which should really be The Primary Cause Ripple Effect – but I like mine better <wink>.
Idiopathic Meaning = http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3892
Diabetic Gastroparesis = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099072/
Chronic Illness and GP = http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/symptoms/gastroparesis/causes.htm
Medications = http://www.atlantagastroenterologyspecialists.com/gastroparesis.php
Virus 1 = http://www.digestivedistress.com/who-gets-gp
Virus 2 = http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/561873_4
Other = http://www.gastroparesis.webs.com/
Hypothyroidism = http://www.drdonnica.com/faqs/00003508.htm (response to a question in a forum)