I am posting this information up for people who are dealing with GP or knows someone who is. These are treatment options that go towards the heart of the problem to hopefully improve quality of life. There are additional drugs that people may add such as proton pump inhibitor(heartburn medication), anti-emetic(nausea suppression).
I would also suggest the possibility of upping B-vitamins, this is just my hunch, but B-vitamins(specifically B12) are known to help repair damaged nerves. Many think GP is related to damage to the vagus nerve. B12 injections are given to diabetics who are suffering from neuropathy which can cause gastroparesis as well. I can’t think of any harm in trying B12. It may also boost your energy levels as well.
Pro-kinetics are basically medications/drugs that make your digestive system move. Gastroparesis causes the stomach to stop churning like it should. Pro-kinetics stimulate the digestive tract back into some sort of action.
Iberogast is an herbal mixture that was developed in Germany back in the 1960’s.So it’s been used for 40+ years and has a great track record of safety and efficacy. How well it works depend on the severity of illness. You can buy Iberogast at Amazon.com, it’s usually around $30.
Read my Iberogast review. The review is aimed at people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but Iberogast works for all sorts of digestive problems.
Metoclopramide which goes by the brand name Reglan is the only actively used pro-kinetic drug in the USA. Unfortunately it has side-effects, the greatest of which is possible tardive dyskinesia which causes Parkinson’s Disease like tremors. This is due to it’s ability to pass into the brain, causing changes there.
Domperidome which has a brand name Mottilium is a safer alternative to Reglan. It is not available normally in the USA, you will need to convince a doctor to write a prescription to a custom pharmacy to produce it. Many doctors are not willing to do this though. You can easily find it in Canada & the UK. There are overseas pharmacies that will sell it to you, but there are obviously risks involved with importing from a possibly shady pharmacy.
Tegeserod which was known as Zelnorm also had pro-kinetic properties and was an alternative to Reglan, but it was taken off the market due to heart attack risk.
There have been studies done with Viagra that showed improvement in mice with GP & there is work being done with the hormone Ghrelin, which causes you to be hungry and plays an important role in digestion. Neither are being used as treatments for GP right now though.
Pyloric Sphincter Botox Treatment
The pyloric sphincter is at the bottom of the stomach, it controls when the contents of the stomach are injected into the small intestine. Gastroparesis patients usually have very inactive pyloric sphincters. One way to get around the slow or inactive pyloric sphincter is to make it relax & remain open. This is done with botox injections, basically paralyzing the sphincter muscle so it remains open. This is not a permanent solution, but in many cases it can last for months and may provide an improvement in symptoms as the stomach will be allowed to drain food into the small intestine.
The Enterra is an electrical device that stimulates the nerves that run near the stomach. It does not actually make the stomach contract. Some people have called it a pacemaker, but it is not quite the same thing. The goal of the device is to stimulate the nervous system so that it stops sending nausea signals to the brain. You can call Medtronics(makers of Enterra) @ (800) 510-6735 to find a doctor that is nearest to you. I believe all GP patients with moderate or severe GP will want to look into this option. It is a major surgery though, but their is a possibility for a large improvement as far as quality of life goes. Enterra does not work for everyone though. :(
A J-Tube is a feeding tube that bypasses the stomach. This is used for people who have severe GP and cannot tolerate eating anything at all. This can help people maintain or gain weight & stablize.