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Gastroparesis: What You Need to Know

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Gastroparesis affects about 50 out of every 100,000 people

With it being a rare disorder, it is one that is considered to be a disorder that is poorly understood which leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

What is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a rare condition in which the stomach cannot empty itself in a normal fashion.

Normally, once something is consumed, the muscles in the wall of the stomach grind the food into small pieces and push them into the small intestine to continue the digestion process. With Gastroparesis, those stomach muscles do not work properly and delays digestion which can lead to a number of other complications.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Gastroparesis can be diagnosed and categorized into three different types:

  • Idiopathic: No detectable abnormality responsible for symptoms.
  • Diabetic: Diabetes mellitus is most commonly associated with gastroparesis and can be associated with other diabetes complications.
  • Post-Surgical: Symptoms appear after surgery to the upper gastrointestinal tract.

There is no cure for Gastroparesis and it is a chronic condition so treatments typically focus on managing the condition. Some treatment options for this disorder include medications like Reglan, Erythromycin, or Antiemetics. Dietary modifications are also a part of the treatment plan, focusing on splitting 3 meals per day to 6 small meals. Other treatment options include the use of a jejunostomy tube and electrical stimulation.

Latest Research and News on Gastroparesis

MRI shows potential to correct slow gastric emptying, gastroparesis

In a recent study, researchers used MRI to show the impact of electrical pulses on the vagus nerve in an attempt to correct gastrointestinal problems like Gastroparesis. The goals is to provide “more precise treatment” that pharmaceutical therapies and diet have not achieved for this condition. Results from this study suggested using an electroceutical treatment approach for Gastroparesis using cervical vagus nerve stimulation to control the degree of pyloric sphincter relaxation.

Velusetrag improves diabetic, idiopathic gastroparesis

According to research presented at Digestive Disease Week, an oral and highly selective 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 4 agonist called Velusetrag has shown to have effectively reduced symptoms and gastric emptying in patients with diabetic or idiopathic Gastroparesis.

FDA Officials Reject NDA, in Current Form, for Gastroparesis Treatment

The FDA will not issue a new drug application (NDA) for the recurrent diabetic gastroparesis medication Gimoti in its present form. Though the NDA was rejected, they have issued recommendations to address the remaining approvability issues, that are related to clinical pharmacoogy and product quality.

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