Digestive Blog

Discussing Digestive Disorders

Digestive Blog is designed to bring together doctors and individuals to discuss digestive issues that affect us in everyday life. Our discussions will encompass how digestion relates to disorders like Reflux or GERD, Allergies, Asthma, Osteoporosis, Cancer, Gastritis, Diabetes, Gastritis and overall health and longevity.  We appreciate your input and ask that your input be related to the issues described above. We will not allow profanity of any type on Digestive Blog, or any comments that would harm or debase another individual.

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Overview of Gastroparesis

May 2, 2019

A condition of the stomach that causes the muscles to slow down the motility of nutrients, through the digestive tract. Gastroparesis is associated with decreased peristalsis in the stomach, small intestine and colon. Back, neck and head injuries can also effect motility. =Many doctor believe that delayed emptying  of the stomach contributes to gastroparesis, which is not be totally true.

A condition called Hyperchlorhydria, causes delayed and marked delayed emptying of the stomach, but does not reduce peristaltic contractions, of the digestive muscles, or decrease motility. In fact, people with Hyperchlorhydria have increased peristaltic activity and motility.  This is especially true, when there is consumption of large amounts of fatty foods and food containing fatty acids. Fats and fatty food stay in the stomach longer, but does not reduce stomach peristalsis, or motility through the rest of the digestive tract. The pyloric sphincter at the base of the stomach starts to relax at 4.0 to 4.5 pH. If the acid in the stomach is at 1.0 pH the sphincter will remain closed, preventing the dumping of nutrients, but it does not decrease the flexing of muscles in the digestive tract.

There are several conditions that do contribute to the decrease in motility.  One condition is malabsorption. Malabsorption causes increased fermentation, because nutrients are not properly broken down, in the first stage of digestion.  Increase fermentation causes increased methane gas production. Under normal conditions, a bacteria, in the small bowl, called M. smithii, removes the hydrogen from the fermentation process and keeps the development of gas at a minimum. When there is excessive fermentation, because of food not being broken down properly, the M. smithii bacteria cannot remove enough hydrogen, which results in excess gas production.  Excess gas in the digestive process slows down the motility of food, through the digestive tract. It also causes, bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, nausea, intestinal gurgling, and constipation. In addition, the reduced motility causes excessive absorption, resulting in weight gain.

The root cause of malabsorption is Hypochlorhydria.  Hypochlorhydria is the reduction in the strength of the Hydrochloric acid, produced by the stomachs parietal cells.  Unlike its counterpart Hyperchlorhydria, Hypochlorhydria prevents the complete breakdown of nutrients, including proteins. It increases fermentation in the small bowel. It also allows bacteria and pathogens to flourish in the digestive tract, which also increases fermentation. Hypochlorhydria reduces peristaltic contractions, of the digestive muscles and decreases motility, of the nutrients through the digestive tract. Hypochlorhydria will cause constipation, gas, bloating, intestinal gurgling, flatulence, irregular stools and constipation, etc.

Hypochlorhydria can be caused by aging, usually over the age of 40, but it is not limited to any age groups. It can also be caused by sedentary lifestyles.  One of the fastest ways of developing Hypochlorhydria is by taking PPIs, antibiotics, cancer drugs, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and many other chemical medications. Every one of the medications mentioned alters the normal physiologic balance, in the digestive process. In many instances the normal physiologic balance may not return, for several months, or even years, after people stop taking them. Smoking and the consumption of alcohol also causes Hypochlorhydria.

Hypochlorhydria and Hyperchlorhydria cannot be accurately diagnosed from the symptoms alone.  An Upper and Lower GI is of no value in determining how a person''s digestive process is working.

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