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Symptoms of Gasteoparesis

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Image is from dLife

Otherwise termed as delayed gastric emptying, gastroparesis is a medical condition characterized by a partial paralysis of the stomach. This paralysis leads to the food remaining in the stomach for periods longer than normal. In normal circumstances, the stomach moves food down the duodenum by contracting to push its content down the gut a process controlled by the vagus nerve. When this nerve is damaged, it is possible for gastroparesis to occur as the muscles of the stomach and small intestines shall not be carrying out their duties in the right manner.

Signs and symptoms

  • The key symptoms of gastroparesis are nausea and vomiting. Vomiting often occurs after meals. Sometimes, however, especially in severe gastroparesis, you may vomit even before taking in any food or fluids into the stomach. The cause of this is usually the accumulation of secretions inside the stomach. Since the stomach lacks the grinding action with this condition, the foods that you vomit will be in big chunks, and you can easily identify them.
  • At other times, you may experience bloating which may sometimes be accompanied by abdominal distension. Again, you will notice that you get full quicker than the normal way a factor that could lead to weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain is also another key symptom that you may present with if you have gastroparesis. The cause of the pain is however not clear.
  • Poor blood sugar control is another symptom of the condition
  • Heartburn too may accompany the condition.

Worth noting

Other than the sign and symptoms of gastroparesis, it is important to appreciate the diagnosis and the treatment.

Diagnosis

There are many methods of diagnosing gastroparesis. The most typical of the methods is the gastric emptying study. This study measures the emptying of food from the stomach. Here, you eat food which has a small radioactive material in it. A scanner is then put on the region around the stomach for some time to monitor the amount of radioactivity that would be taking place inside the stomach. For patients with gastroparesis, the food usually takes a relatively long time to get into the small intestines compared to a normal individual.

Another method of diagnosis is anthro-duodenal motility study. This study is however considered experimental and cannot be used in some patients. It basically measures the pressure that results from the contraction of the muscles of the small intestines and the stomach.

Treatment

There is a whole list of treatment of gastroparesis including diet, medication, as well as procedures which facilitate emptying of the stomach. The treatments have myriad end goals which include providing a diet with foods that are emptied easily, controlling the conditions which are known to aggravate gastroparesis, relieve the symptoms as well as maintaining adequate nutrition.

On a diet, emptying occurs faster when there is not much food in the stomach, and as such, it is urged that you take smaller portions though at shorter intervals. Besides, softer foods tend to require less grinding. It is important to note that fats trigger the body to release certain hormones that are an impediment to stomach emptying. As such, you should look to the direction of foods with low-fat content. Also, diets not so rich in fiber are recommended. Fiber is known to be responsible for the formation of bezoars as well as critical in slowing down the process of stomach emptying.

The above are some of the symptoms of gastroparesis together with its diagnosis and treatment. A comprehensive appreciation of the condition will take you a long way in managing it.

 

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Understanding Polio

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Image is from GOOD Magazine

Poliomyelitis, popularly known as polio is a crippling, infectious and potentially harmful viral infection transmitted by the poliovirus. The virus can spread from a person to another and acts swift once in the body, infecting the brain and spinal cord.

The result is paralysis and potential death. Even though the virus isn’t common in most developed countries, polio could me a menace to people who travel out of the country often.

Poliovirus Transmission and Infection

The primary mode of transmission is via person-to-person contact. The virus resides in the human mouth or intestines meaning that it can be transmitted through contact with human excrement even in the tiniest bit.

A less common infection route is by inhaling sneeze or cough droplets. Any traces of feces in your hands when touching your mouth or putting infected items like toys into your mouth could lead to an infection.

Since infected people can be carriers for up to two weeks, it is hard to know who to avoid as apparently healthy people could be a threat. This combined with the fact that the virus can live out of the human body for weeks means that the risk of infection from contaminated food or water is very high especially in low sanitation areas.

Popular Poliovirus infection Symptoms

Most of the people with the poliovirus will show no visible symptoms. Worse still, up almost 25 percent of the infected will have nothing more than flu-like symptoms. These could be

  • A sore throat
  • Fever, nausea and tiredness
  • Headache and stomach pain

These symptoms could linger for a week or so before they ebb depending on whether your immune system was strong enough to fight off the virus or not.

If unaddressed the virus could develop into serious brain and spinal cord injury causing:

  • A constant feeling of pins and needles in your legs (paresthesia)
  • Meningitis (the infection of the spinal cord, brain or both)
  • Paralysis

Paralysis is the worst of the poliovirus infection symptoms. If the patient is lucky, the paralysis could affects limbs leaving the person disabled. In rare but more severe cases, the virus could affect core muscles, for instance muscles controlling your breathing hence leading to death.

When Does the Poliovirus Infection Become Polio?

Poliomyelitis, by definition, is a paralytic disease. Consequently, only people whose poliovirus infection results into paralytic disease are technically considered to have the disease.

With no actual control over how the virus will react once in the human body, it is always safe to stay clear of the virus.

Poliovirus Infection Prevention

As with most viral infections, preventing the infection is always better than trying to cure it. As of to date, there is no known cure for polio. The best medicine can offer to infected individuals is:

  • A proper nutritious diet
  • Bed rest with pain relievers
  • Moderate physical therapy to keep the muscles working
  • Drugs and medication to control the virus’ spread and effect

While things like improved sanitation and personal hygiene might reduce the spread of the virus, it is wise to take the polio virus at the designated times. There is a total of four shots in the regime.

  • When two months old
  • When four months old
  • Six to 18 months old
  • Between four and six years

Adults could also consider taking the vaccine when traveling to high prevalence areas. Even though the immunity gathered from childhood vaccines would be enough to keep you safe as long as you live, it would do you no harm to get an extra shot when you can.

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