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DrNowicki, Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 687
Experience:  >7yrsPrivate practice, gen'l family practice;focus on treating the cause of symptoms w/natural meds
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My stomach does not empty out for days at a time. What can ...

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My stomach does not empty out for days at a time. What can I do. I know this because i am not hungry after lunch and I have thrown up food I ate 20 hours ago.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DrNowicki replied 9 years ago.


There are a few possible causes of your symptoms. The first, and most significant would be a bowel obstruction. This can prevent food from passing through the digestive tract and lead to vomiting. If you are not having bowel movements or if your symptoms are worsening (or at least not improving), you need to see a doctor immediately. I would suggest you contact a gastroenterologist (doctor who specializes in the digestive system) for further testing. If all tests are normal, there are some other possible causes.

Gas,bloating, poor stomach emptying, pain, and indigestion may be signs of poor digestive function. This may be secondary to infection, medication use, anxiety, decreased digestive enzymes/hydrochloric acid production, food sensitivities, or dysbiosis (imbalance in the digestive flora). I have found much success in my practice after running a specific type of food allergy testing. Often people are experiencing food sensitivities and do not realize it. Although you may have made dietary changes you may still be eating foods that cause you a problem. You can find more informaiton about this type of testing here:

Chewing your food is very important as this begins the digestive process. Be sure to chew your food a minimum of 20-30 times before swallowing. Drinking excess fluids with meals decreases hydrochloric acid and enzyme strength and may also aggravate your symptoms.

Food senstivities often present with a variety of symptoms. Conventionally they are not tested for although research indicates that approximately 95% of individuals in the US suffer from some type of adverse food reaction.

Digestive enzymes may help, however, this should be discussed with your doctor before starting. The addition of digestive enzymes (such as protease, lipase, pepsin, trypsin, chymotrypsin, etc) aids in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and sugars. Hydrochloric acid production also begins decreasing as we age which can lead to bloating and decreased food breakdown. In addition, probiotics (good bacteria) may also help as they are essential for proper digestive function. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the main bacteria along with bifidobacteria. Saccharomyces boulardii is another important GI bacteria. I often suggest my patients take 9-20 billion colonies per day. Make sure the probiotic is dairy free as some individuals with dairy sensitivities may not improve with probiotics because they contain dairy products (such as lactose). In addition, omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties that may help. Good brands include Nordic Naturals and Carlson.

It is important to discuss testing as well as treatment options with you doctor.

If you experience abdominal pain, fever, blood in your stool, pale colored stool, back pain, or increase in vomiting see your doctor immediately.

I hope you find this information helpful.


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