Gastroparesis Causes

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010

The most common cause or risk factor for gastroparesis is diabetes. Other causes may be medication and treatment for some other diseases.

Gastroparesis risk factors

The most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes. People with diabetes have been high blood-glucose than normal, causes damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the nerves. Over time, high glucose level can damage the vagus nerve in the stomach, which signals the smooth muscles in the stomach to contract in peristaltic waves at the rate of about three contractions a minute. If these contractions are slow down or stopped, food cannot move out of the stomach into the duodenum, as it should.

Gastroparesis other causes

  • Post viral syndromes - viral infections, post viral gastroparesis is uncommon.
  • Endocrine disorders (endocrine system is composed of a network of organs and glands responsible for producing, storing, and secreting hormones that help to maintain and control vital functions such as growth, reproduction, and energy levels.). Most common endocrine disorders are diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism.
  • People with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (has an intense fear of gaining weight – thus limit food, even if they are low in weight) or bulimia (psychological eating disorder - eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control. That may include vomiting, fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising.) may also develop delayed gastric.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach backs up or refluxes into the esophagus. The liquid can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus.
  • Connective tissue disorders like scleroderma (hardening of skin or other organ),
  • Nervous system diseases - abdominal migraine (Abdominal Migraine consists primarily of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.) and Parkinson’s disease (motor system disorders - trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face).
  • Metabolic disorders – hypothyroidism (abnormally low thyroid hormone production).
  • Autoimmune conditions (body produces abnormal cells, which attack the body, itself.),
  • Neuromuscular diseases (affect the nerves that control voluntary muscles),
  • Idiopathic (unknown) causes, is present in many patients with functional dyspepsia, and in some cases occur after a viral infection.
  • Cancer,
  • Radiation treatment applied over the chest or abdomen,
  • Some forms of chemotherapy (cancer treating drug therapy that can stop these cells from multiplying),
  • Surgery of the upper intestinal tract
  • Surgery on the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum may result in injury to the vagus nerve, which is responsible for many sensory and motor (muscle) responses of the intestine.
  • Medications may cause delayed gastric emptying, mimicking the symptoms of gastroparesis. Some common medications are Narcotic, Tricyclic antidepressants, Calcium channel blockers, Clonidine, Dopamine agonists, Lithium, Nicotine, Progesterone.