From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Gastroparesis is a neuro-muscular abnormality that causes delayed gastric emptying which, in turn, causes a premature full feeling while eating, bloating, nausea, acid reflux, regurgitation, belching, and occasional vomiting. It is a co-morbid condition associated with ME/CFS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and several other diseases.[1][2]

Gastroparesis may be precipitated by a viral illness such as Epstein-Barr virus or a viral infection that causes gastroenteritis or the “stomach flu." Studies have implicated an immune dysfunction, as well as, a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system as part of the pathophysiology. It can, also, result when the vagus nerve is damaged by illness or injury.[3] Seventy to eighty percent of individuals with primary gastroparesis are young women.[4]

There is no cure, at present, for gastroparesis, so the primary treatment is to manage symptoms with: pro-motility medications, acid-suppressing medications, antacids, and anti-nausea medications if needed. Diet, also, plays a large role in symptom control. In particular, avoid high fat and high fiber foods, eat small portions throughout the day, and use liquid food supplements.[5]

Gastroparesis is frequently misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but the chief difference is where the problem is occurring. Gastroparesis refers to a disorder in the upper digestion system, especially the stomach, whereas, IBS refers to the lower digestion system, especially the bowels. A series of tests may be necessary for determining if one has gastroparesis, including: endoscopy, CT scan, upper gastrointestinal (GI) series, breath test, and a Gastric emptying study.[6] The American Motility Society has established that a 4-hour "Gastric emptying test" is the standard for diagnosing gastroparesis.[7]

Studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2004, Gastric emptying is slow in chronic fatigue syndrome[8] (Full Text)
  • 2016, Gastric Enterovirus Infection: A Possible Causative Etiology of Gastroparesis[9] (Abstract)

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