Ehlers Danlos and Gastroparesis

What Is Gastroparesis?

It is a condition that stops or slows the flow of food from your stomach to your small intestine without any blockage. The result is that your stomach does not keep its proper position.

Gastroparesis is more common in a limited percentage of persons who have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which is a genetic disorder. The autonomic nervous system may cause this ailment, and additional testing is required to determine this.

Why Does A Person With EDS Suffer From Gastroparesis?

Connective tissue can be found throughout the whole human body, including the bladder and gastrointestinal systems, among others. Patients with EDS, particularly those with Hypermobile EDS, are more likely to experience bowel or gastric difficulties. The peristalsis movements are required in the intestine to eliminate waste from the body, are dependent on the integrity of connective tissues. Disruption of the bowel’s function due to connective tissue abnormalities can cause motility problems and constipation, and in extreme cases, paralysis of the digestive tract (known as “gastroparesis”). Prolapse of the rectal and genital organs can occasionally occur, impairing the capacity to pass a bowel motion.

What are the signs and symptoms of patients with both EDS and gastroparesis?

  • Lack of hunger
  • Acid reflux
  • Upset belly
  • Belly pain and bloating
  • Throwing up
  • Weight loss and inadequate nutrition

Gastroparesis And Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Diagnosis

You will most likely be referred for several tests if you have been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and are experiencing gastrointestinal problems. These tests will help pinpoint the cause or location of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan for you. Treatment options for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome are numerous and vary depending on the severity of the symptoms experienced. Rather than curing the illnesses, the treatments will try to assist alleviate their symptoms as much as possible.

Among the tests that you may be subjected to are:

  • Gastropexy or colonoscopy: A gastroscopy is a procedure in which a camera is used to see down the throat and into the stomach. A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a camera is placed into the rectum to view the colon. It is necessary to perform both these tests to look for any signs of abnormalities or inflammation.
  • Stomach emptying tests: It is used to determine the severity of dysmotility by monitoring how quickly the stomach empties into the small intestine (intestinal transit time).
  • Hydrogen breath test: This test will determine whether or not there is an excess of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Barium contrast swallow test: In this test, the dye used in this test will reveal any structural abnormalities of the esophagus that may exist.
  • Photography: It is the process of taking x-ray images of the rectum or anus to look for any blockages or obstructions that may be contributing to your symptoms.

What are the treatment options for patients with EDS and gastroparesis?

To make you more comfortable and improve your overall health, it is most probable that a combination of conservative and pharmacological treatments will be performed. Because many people with EDS struggle to heal entirely due to the delicate nature of their tissues in general, surgical therapies will only be explored as a last resort. They will need to be thoroughly studied in advance.

Other treatment options include:

Fluid Intake

  • Drink 80-90 ounces of water per day to achieve the best outcomes. This equates to approximately 10-12 glasses every day.
  • Keep a written record of how much water you consume daily.

 

Exercise

  • Low-impact exercise may be beneficial for your symptoms.
  • Riding a recumbent bike (a bike with a seat that reclines) and swimming are excellent forms of exercise.
  • For the best results, exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week for at least 30 minutes.

Diet

These dietary modifications may be beneficial:

  • Snacking on small meals throughout the day is recommended.
  • Consuming low-fat meals regularly

Other Possibilities

  • Medications may also be used to alleviate symptoms.
  • Some people may require additional tests and assistance in controlling their symptoms by a gastroenterologist.
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