Saturday, February 21, 2009


I have tummy troubles. No, I don't have a stomach virus or anything temporary. I have been diagnosed with gastroparesis or stomach paralysis - I had never heard of such a thing.

It all started about two years ago when I noticed I never seemed to be hungry or if I was hungry, after eating only two or three bites, I would feel stuffed, like I had just eaten a five course meal. If I ate when I wasn't hungry, my stomach would start I had a migraine in my stomach. After awhile, my stomach seemed to hurt after I ate whether I was hungry or not. It seemed the only foods I could eat that didn't make my stomach hurt was cereal and salad, so that became my diet. I quickly lost ten pounds.

The next time I saw my internist, I explained to her what had been happening. She sent me to see a GI doctor. First, he sent me for a barium study, where I got to drink a HUGE glass of what tasted like paste, but this didn't show anything. Then I had a CT taken of my stomach, and this didn't show anything. (I began to think this was all in my head.)

He then performed an endoscopy, where they put a light down your throat to look at your insides. This showed a gallstone and small hernia, but he didn't think these were causing my problems. Next, he sent me for a stomach-emptying study. I had to be at the hospital at 7:30 a.m. Then I had to eat a scrambled egg with dye in it, and yes, it tasted as good as it sounds. Then every four hours, they would take an x-ray of my stomach to see how fast my food was digesting. Turns out, my stomach does not digest solid foods. That was why I never seemed to be hungry.

So now, I have been on a soft/liquid diet for about two months. I have to be on this diet for another month or so, then I go back to see the GI doc. My diet consists of grits, applesauce, yogurt, and I can have all the milkshakes I want. I can't have any raw fruits or vegetables, no fiber at all. All the healthy food we are told we need to eat everyday, I can't have. All the food we hear is bad for us, I have to eat, like white rice and mashed potatoes, nothing brown. The doc does want me to eat baked/grilled chicken and fish or turkey - nothing fried and no red meat.

In researching this subject on-line, I learned that since my stomach doesn't digest food, if I eat solid foods, the food will just sit in my stomach, and after a couple of hours, it sours and...well, you can use your imagination as to what happens to that food. If the food lingers too long in my stomach, the food can harden into solid masses called bezoars, similar to a hairball in cats...I can get a HAIRBALL!!!

So far, I have managed just fine on this diet. I've lost 27 pounds, and luckily, I can still have chocolate...after all, chocolate is a girl's best friend.


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