I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in 2007. My initial symptoms were nausea, lower abdominal pain and heartburn. These symptoms were relieved by Reglan and Omeprazole. In 2008, I suffered from severe nausea (but not vomiting) every day for at least 2 months. After experiencing tremors from all the drugs my GI doctor prescribed (in addition to tremors I already had from some other drugs), the doctor changed to 4 10mg tablets of Domperidone daily, which eliminated the nausea and caused no side effects. I continued taking Omeprazole. He
During 2009, my doctor gradually reduced my Domperidone dosage to one 10mg tablet daily. Later I started having frequent bouts of low blood sugar, often regardless of when or what I ate. I am pre-diabetic, and am currently taking Actosplusmet, which usually keeps my blood sugar from being too high. Additional symptoms included severe bloating and abdominal distention. I do not have constipation. My doctor explained that diabetes can cause low blood sugar symptoms, e.g., sudden drops in blood sugar, a frantic need to eat, dizziness, confusion and anxiety. I also discussed this with my endocrinologist.
My GI doctor helped me enroll in a diabetic gastroparesis study through Wake Research Associates. I had to go off the Domperidone during the study. The WRI staff let me resume taking Omeprazole because I experienced severe heartburn when they took me off of it. I am fairly sure that I actually received the test drug because during this brief part of the study, my hypoglycemic symptoms were relieved.
When my participation in the study ended in 2010, I realized that my symptoms had resumed. The bloating and distention continued despite having normal bowel movements.My doctor then told me to increase my dosage of Domperidone back to 4 10mg tablets a day. This eliminated my hypoglycemic symptoms.
On my most recent visit to my GI, I told him that the bloating and distention were continuing. He prescribed 3 250mg Erythromycin
tablets daily before meals, and explained that sometimes this antibiotic would "kickstart" my system and possibly relieve my symptoms. He told me that I could refill the Rx if necessary, but return to him if the medicine didn't continue to work. Toward the end of the first 10 days, I had a brief respite from my symptoms, so I've just refilled the Ery-tabs.
Since I take a variety of drugs for several mental and physical conditions, my Gl doctor knows that I am reluctant to add any other drugs to my regular regime. If the Ery-tabs don't result in long-term relief, he may do tests to determine if excess bacteria is causing the bloating and distention.
Whenever I've asked my GI doctor if I should eliminate or change anything in my diet, he always says to avoid greasy foods. As a longtime Weight Watchers member, I have tried to eat foods that don't have a lot of fat, or aren't prepared with much if any saturated fat. At the same time, I try to eat a lot of foods that have adequate protein, are low in unnecessary sugars and have a high fiber content. I include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and other high fiber/low sugar foods such as cereals. .
I would appreciate any advice your doctors can offer about dietary changes that can control or even eliminate bloating and distention. I have just read a web site tonight that high fiber foods such as broccoli can actually contribute to my problem. Is this true?
Also, can dairy foods--even the lowfat cheeses, Lactaid milk and fat-free, low-sugar yogurt I thought were good for me--cause or increase my symptoms? Are there web site or printed materials that would provide some guidance?
I am very frustrated and confused with trying to reconcile the Weight Watchers program (which often doesn't help people with blood sugar issues) with eating habits that will control my blood sugar and prevent the gastroparesis symptoms I've experienced since 2007. My ongoing struggles with diet include portion control and timing of eating before bedtime. Despite my attempts to have a "good diet" and exercising at least 4 days a week, I have gained at least 10 lb in the past few months.
So my efforts seem to be working at cross purposes with each other. The Domperidone, Omeprazole and Actoplusmet have done a great job with controlling most of my gastroparesis and pre-diabetic issues. However, when the bloating and distention are at their worst, I have to change from regular clothes to a nightgown or bathrobe.
I would appreciate any advice and information you can offer.