IBS or Gastroparesis? Need your advice w/chronic stomach pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/22/2008 1:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all, I just found the forum. Everyone seems very friendly and helpful I hope to find some great advice.
I am not sure if what I have is IBS or Gastroparesis. I am a diabetic and have been suffering with horrible stomach bloating/distention, pain, and constipation. After I DO have a bowel movement the distention and pain is worse. The GI doctor I have been seeing, plus ER doctors feel that it is Gastroparesis. I have not been tested for it yet but was just told that it is probably that after a process of elimination so to speak. I've had endoscopy and colonoscopy and only thing found was some polyps and was told I had Gastritis. I was given Reglan and took it for two days and had to stop after very bad side effects. I was having awful muscle spasms, anxiety, couldn't sit still, felt like i wanted to crawl out of my skin, basically just felt like I was going absolutely crazy. The final straw was when on the second day of taking it I also got extremely depressed, feeling totally hopeless and suicidal. I immediately stopped taking it. I was emotionally fine before and right after I stopped taking it. Now I am just wondering where else to go.
I was given Oxycodone by ER doctors for the pain I have been in and while it has helped the pain I am afraid of getting dependent on pain meds and they will only make constipation worse. Also I do not currently suffer from the vomiting undigested food associated with Gastroparesis, but have many of the other symptoms.
Is anyone else here suffering from Gastroparesis? Do you take any meds that have helped you? Found any foods that help? Any advice you have I would very much appreciate. TY

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 10/22/2008 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
I have gastroparesis, but I also have chronic diarrhea which makes me a bit of an oddball. The only way to know for sure that you have it is to get the gastric emptying scan done. I'd also google "gastroparesis diet" and look at the list of recommended foods - low fat, low residue stuff mostly - and they recommend eating smaller meals with increasing frequency.
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Please always remember to consult your medical professional regarding your medical questions; this forum is intended to provide patient-to-patient support. Although some of us have healthcare backgrounds, we cannot diagnose or treat patients on the board.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/26/2008 3:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi thanks for your response. I am taking your advice and have been trying very hard to change my eating habits. It has helped some with my abd pain. I am getting lightheaded at night a lot lately and that's kind of concerning me but it may just be due to my blood sugar being out of wack. Thanks!
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" Ghandi

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 10/28/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Diabetes is linked with GP, and GP can cause abdominal pain.  There are other causes of GP, some known, and many unknown/idiopathic.  The symptoms seem to vary case by case, and by cause so it's hard to diagnose without that Emptying Study mentioned earlier.  There are some pretty good GP support groups out there, and also a fair amount of information here if you search. 
There are a few different options for GP treatment.  Generally the first step is finding out what foods give the most problems.  Keep a daily journal of foods and try eliminating various food groups for a week or more, and seeing if symptoms change.  In general, I've read high fat and high fiber foods should be avoided.  There are other items but really it boils down to experimentation.  If in doubt, anything you don't need to survive (candy/sugary things, caffeine, transfats, saturated fats) should be avoided.   If medicine is required, one thing you may want to look into is Domperidone.  It's not easily obtained in the USA but it appears that doctors can still write a prescription and then you can get it from other countries via mail.  IMO, it looks like a safer option than Reglan, the controversial aspects don't seem to be a factor for GP sufferers, but it's not sold here for the other uses.
Some natural items that you may want to search / investigate:
DGL Licorice - for nausea (chew-able tablets) <- works for me
Beets - Something about the Betaine and their ability to thin bile <- works for me
Artichokes - not sure on this one, but seems to be good in general.
Probiotics & Yogurt
Mineral supplementation (Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Sodium) - play a factor in symptom management.
I don't have first hand experience but have read good things about:
Ginger - for nausea (natural / real, not pills)
Digestive Enzymes
Zanthoxylum which is used in Asia as a motility treatment <- anybody have any experience??? 
Peppermint Oil - read up on it, it has many good effects but can make other things worse (Reflux). 

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/28/2008 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Wonderful information, ty so much. I have been making big changes in my diet and it has decreased my abd pain significantly. I am eating fried food very sparingly and eating small amounts at a time. I do end up indulging at times and pay the price later. It's taking time to break the habit of eating all I want instead of only what I need. I will check out the Domperidone. I have tried peppermint pills but not oil.
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" Ghandi

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