Does anyone have experience with gastroparesis?

I came across this condition looking up symptoms of Sjorgren's.

I've had trouble with my stomach for years, on and off, but gradually getting worse (autoimmune red light there?). Certainly long before I had any proper RA symptoms. It used to be mainly just feeling like food was sitting in my stomach for hours after I'd eaten, really uncomfortable, but it is worse now with pains, a swollen feeling, reflux, heartburn. Other symptoms include palpitations which I get and stomach contractions which I feel sometimes, and a general sicky no-appetite feeling. Unless I'm on steroids I have to force myself to eat.

It seems like the only remedies are nasty drugs that only treat some of the symptoms. I've been thinking about more natural ways to help but can only come up with maybe drinking coffee after I eat.

I'm dreading asking my Rheumy about it as it seemed to get worse when I was on Humira, they are still running round like headless chickens over my brain spots.

xxx

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  • dogrose I had white spots on scan.. they didnt know what they were so decided they were nothing important to worry about.. same with a colleague with migraines said the same to her!!

  • They are saying I mustn't go back on the Humira because they don't know what caused the brain spots - but I looked them up on an MRI website and it says it is impossible to know what causes them, they just happen. Next time I see Rheumy I will pin him down and get some answers! xxx

  • Yes, I have gastroparesis type symptoms, that got really bad when I was prescribed stomach protectors - what was happening was that they reduced the acid in my stomach so much that I couldn't digest my food properly so it was sitting there for hours not moving. I did have to take metoclopramide for quite a while, until I clicked that it was the PPIs that were causing it. I stopped them, and its been a lot better, though I do still have problems. I realise that it probably wasn't really gastroparesis at all, even though that is how I was treated for a while. They should really have done proper testing before I was diagnosed with that. If you really are having problems with food not going through your stomach properly, then you probably need to be referred for a gastroscopy or a barium meal xray where they can really see what is going on.

    Just be aware though that sometimes the whole gut-slowing thing can just be a result of the meds you are on, so you need to talk to your GP about that possibility. The other thing that needs to be checked out is coeliac disease. Ask your GP if they can test you for that, as that can have that kind of symptom as well (food not going through, sicky feeling, general gut discomfort), and of course coeliac is another autoimmune. Just make sure that you have been eating enough gluten in the six weeks before you get tested though, as otherwise you could get a false negative result (4 slices of bread a day or the equivalent for 6 weeks).

    I'm not sure why you think that drinking coffee after a meal would help? Most of what I have read would suggest that coffee should be cut out if you are having things like reflux, as it can irritate the stomach more.

  • Thanks for the reply! I have been having the same problem for years, long before any treatment, drugs or diagnosis for RA, only not so bad as now. I read that codeine can make it worse and I do sometimes take codeine in the evening so I'm giving that a break to see if that helps. I don't get any bowel/intestine problems. I don't eat bread or pastry anyway, it is the worst culprit for hanging around and causing discomfort.

    Just thought coffee as it is a stimulant, I hardly ever drink it and when I do it usually has me going to the loo pretty quick so thought it might be good for moving things higher up.

    I suppose I'll have to try to play it up a bit more next rheumy visit, I mentioned it the last two visits but he didn't seem that bothered.

    I'm sick of tests and drugs :-/

    xxx

  • I was having problems with bloating and always feeling full when I was on codeine. My gp explained that it stops the stomach muscles contracting rhythmically so food doesnt pass along the intestines properly. She prescribed senna tablets to increase roughage and stomach contractions plus drink plenty of fluid. It didnt get rid of it totally but did help. I also find that taking an extra chewable vitamin c tablet helps stimulate gut too.

    Hope this helps.

  • you'd be better off talking to your GP, as they might want to send you for an endoscopy. Rheumatologist would just refer you back to your GP about it anyway.

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