|Gastroparesis AKA Delayed Gastric Emptying (DGE)|
|Written by RMacLean|
|Monday, 04 April 2005 01:09|
Also known as delayed gastric emptying or DGE for short, gastroparesis (gastro - meaning stomach, paresis - meaning paralysis) is a condition in which the stomach takes longer to empty than it should.
Some estimates suggest that approximately half of babies with reflux will also have some degree of DGE which, as with the reflux, can likely be attributed to immaturity of the digestive system.
Symptoms of Gastroparesis
Babies with DGE may get full quickly, take longer to get hungry again, and perhaps the best indication in babies is throwing up undigested, or partially digested food several hours after feeding.
Treatments for Gastroparesis
Medications called prokinetics and possibly diet changes are the usual courses of treatment for gastroparesis.
These drugs work to increase the speed at which stomach contents move through the digestive track. How they do this depends on the drug itself as listed below.
Adding cereal to baby's bottle as is usually recommended by the doctor for reflux, may make DGE worse since solids take longer to empty from the stomach than liquids. Breastfeeding is by far the best for a baby with DGE as breastmilk moves through the digestive system up to twice as fast as formula. If the baby is not breast fed, switching to a hypoallergenic formula, may also help, as they are already partially digested, making transit time out of the stomach potentially faster.
In severe cases of gastroparesis surgery may be required. A new surgery called gastric pacing makes use of a gastric electric stimulator, or pacemaker to help coordinate peristalsis is being used in adults. Another procedure is the injection of botulinum toxin into the pylorus and finally as a last resort a pyloroplasty in which they make a larger opening between the pylorus and the bowel.
Many children with reflux will be put on prokinetic medications whether or not they are diagnosed with DGE simply because it can help lessen reflux episodes by leaving less food in the stomach available to be refluxed.
If DGE is suspected, the doctor may order certain tests to obtain a positive diagnosis.
Upper Endoscopy (aka Scope)
Reflux and DGE seem to go hand in hand for many babies and unfortunately, DGE can make reflux worse. Reflux episodes can become more frequent by having too much food lingering around in the stomach for long periods of time. Fortunately, as with reflux, most babies will outgrow their DGE problems as their digestive track matures and becomes more coordinated.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 April 2008 01:18 )|
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Site Last Modified: April 2009
*Disclaimer:The information available on this website should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of your child's reflux. Please consult with your child's doctor or pharmacist before trying any medication (prescription or OTC) or following any treatment plan mentioned. This information is provided only to help you be as informed as possible about your child's condition.