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Bloating and gastroparesis


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#1 Chopper

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:16 AM

My dietician blogged this quote from the a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2011, about bloating and gastroparesis: "bloating is prevalent in gastroparesis and is severe in many individuals." What's interesting is the conclusion that "bloating severity relates to female gender, overweight status, and intensity of other symptoms. ...[It] is not influenced by gastric emptying rates."

The most common causes of gastroparesis are diabetes, autoimmune diseases like scleroderma and medication side effects. I find this particularly interesting because the dietician has several patients who do not have bloating. I do. I burp all the time. By 4 or 5 am I need to either sit up or walk around to burp to relieve the gas pain in my stomach. I do not have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). I avoid gluten and dairy. My gastroenterologist shrugs his shoulders at the cause for all of my upper GI gas.

A side story that made me think. My grandpa recently had a stricture in his esophagus and food or drink could not pass. A few days before it reached that level, he told me his symptoms were a lot of burping and even hiccups.

So if bloating severity is not influenced by gastric emptying rates, then I have to wonder more about the cause(s). Scleroderma affects the smooth muscles of the GI tract. In the case of my grandpa, the stricture and the burping were obviously connected. Maybe this is a good question for a GI doctor who specializes in scleroderma, or maybe even a scleroderma doctor: can upper GI gas (ie bloating and burping) be caused by scleroderma affecting the smooth muscles of the GI tract?

Has anyone pondered this before or even had a doctor explain the cause(s) of upper GI gas in scleroderma patients (when SIBO and food allergies are ruled out)?

Just pondering,

Chopper
Limited Scleroderma, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Celiac, Gastroparesis, GERD, and Gastritis.

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 09:53 AM

Here is the link to the abstract Chopper referred to, Bloating in Gastroparesis: Severity, Impact, and Associated Factors by the American Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2011.

Chopper, as far as I can figure (and of course I'm not a doctor, I have no medical training at all, so please keep that in mind!) there are two separate issues here, one is gastroparesis, and the other is bloating.

Although gastroparesis may be less common, bloating itself is universally common -- because it is a natural process caused by swallowed air or food digestion.

Since bloating related to gastroparesis is not related to gastric emptying rates, but could of course be due to other factors including the underlying cause, you could possibly find more ideas for coping with it by investigating all the general causes of bloating. Bloating, belching and intestinal gas: How to avoid them by Mayo Clinic.

Of particular importance with scleroderma is that heartburn can cause bloating, because we can swallow air repeatedly in an effort to tamp it back down. So do be sure that your heartburn (if any) is very well-managed, too.

And of course never underestimate the power of a good scleroderma expert to help explain what applies to your individual case.

Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Chopper

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:28 PM

Shelley,

Thank you for adding those links! How true there are so many causes of bloating, highly individual. Since this is still relatively new to me, I keep wondering how much is related to scleroderma, and how much isn't, and how much can I control.

My GI doctor so quickly diagnosed the celiac and gastritis and prescribed medicine for the GERD. However, beyond that I feel as though I would benefit more from switching to a GI doctor who works a lot with scleroderma patients. I'm going to see a scleroderma specialist in September, and I plan to ask about this.

Thanks,

Chopper
Limited Scleroderma, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Celiac, Gastroparesis, GERD, and Gastritis.

#4 debonair susie

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 11:02 AM

Hi Chopper!

Here's hoping for an easy solution to your problem(s)!

In the meantime, I'll be thinking of you!
Special Hugs,

Susie Kraft
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