Hey my lovelies,
As most of you know in September 2013 I fell severely ill with multiple chronic illnesses. Unfortunately I’m not your typical text book case, I wish I was but I’m complex and suffer from many rare illnesses not known or talked about enough.
throughout the first few of months of being ill my digestive system began to give up, this didn’t happen very slowly either, within a few months my whole digestive system had become completely paralysed from my esophagus down to my rectum. This was because of digestive system paralysis also known by many names two of which being “Dysmotility & Gastroparesis”
And I’m writing about this today because August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month and I feel it’s only right I raise awareness for an illness which has taken over my life and destroyed my insides.
Firstly, What is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis (also known as GP) Is paralysis of the stomach resulting in delayed gastric emptying which means the movement of food is slowed down or completely stopped between the stomach and the small intestines.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gastroparesis?
Symptoms and severity vary from each person, each case is different but each symptom the person suffers is deliberating and life altering. The symptoms include:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Chronic Nausea
- Continuous sickness
- Severe abdominal bloating
- Constant exhaustion
- Lack of appetite
- Severe Constipation
- Continuous Diarrhoe
- Abdominal/Esophagus spasms
- Erratic blood glucose levels
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Sudden Weight loss or gain
- And sadly so many more!
For the majority of people diagnosed with Gastroparesis, oral maintenance of nutrition is not possible therefore the only option is to be fed via:
- A NG Tube which enters the nose and feeds into the stomach.
- A NJ Tube which enters the nose and feeds into the small intestine.
- A gastrostomy (G) tube which are surgically placed through the abdominal wall into the stomach.
- A Gastro-jejunal (GJ) tube which is placed into the stomach like the G-Tube but inside the stomach is a thin, long tube threaded into the jejunal portion of the intestine.
- A J-tube which has a stoma (tube site) directly to the intestine.
- A central line is a PICC or Hickman line which is placed in your arm or a port surgically placed in your chest.
The exact cause of Gastroparesis is unknown but it has something to do with the damage that’s done to the nerve and muscles controlling the stomach but even to this day no one has a completely solid answer. Although the cause isn’t known, doctors do believe certain illnesses can trigger Gastroparesis, these illnesses include:
- Type 1 & 2 Diabetes
- Complications from stomach surgery
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
- A serious Virus
Due to no one knowing the cause of Gastroparesis and not enough research is done into the disease, there is very limited treatment options and the options hospitals do have, usually fail within the first four months which is the case for myself and many others around the world. Awful isn’t it?
We need to make a change! Gastroparesis is a rare, life altering and life threatening disease which has taken over thousands of people’s lives world wide. Sadly, there are many cases where people haven’t survived due to lack of research into finding a cure for this illness. This is an illness which changes your body physically, mentally and emotionally. This is an illness which ruins people’s lives. This is an illness which has drastically changed me in more ways then I could ever say and to be honest, this really isn’t okay.
Awareness is key!
Please everyone share this post around to help me raise awareness for an illness which is causing so much pain in my life. It’s taken so much away from me already in just three years, we need a cure and we need it soon. Who knows what else it could do. The damage is permanent and I will live the rest of my life fighting everyday to get to the next!
If you’d like to know more about Gastroparesis here are a few websites which give you more detailed information:
Thank you so much for helping me and giving me continuous support, love & encourage whilst facing the hardest time of my life. You guys mean the absolute world to me and I couldn’t ever tell you how grateful I am to you all.
Hope your all well.
Tons of love as always,