A guest post by Clay Gilbert, author of “Annah” and “Dark Road to Paradise”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if that nice meal out you’ve been looking forward to all week turned out to be your worst nightmare? If you couldn’t finish more than a couple of bites? Have you thought about what a struggle your life would be if there were days on end when you couldn’t even eat solid food without nausea? These aren’t just rhetorical questions. For those suffering from gastroparesis, these are daily realities.
Gastroparesis is a word that means what it may sound like: according to the Mayo Clinic, “Gastroparesis is a condition in which the spontaneous movement of the muscles (motility) in your stomach does not function normally (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/basics/definition/con-20023971).”
Medical definitions are one thing, but for those living with the disease, here are a few ways gastroparesis can impact day-to-day living: nausea, vomiting, dry-heaving, vitamin deficiencies, damage to teeth and gums from vomiting and acid reflux, and exhaustion from little sleep as the patient battles the condition.
What can be done about gastroparesis? Seeing a doctor is crucially important, of course. But there are also a number of organizations who exist to inform and assist those looking for ways to live with gastroparesis and reduce its impact on their lives. A few of them are IFFGD, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (http://iffgd.org/about-about-iffgd.html), G-PACT, the Gastroparesis Patient Association for Cures and Treatments (https://www.g-pact.org/), and the GPD Foundation (http://gpdfoundation.com/). Contacting these organizations may help gastroparesis sufferers and their friends and families find better ways of coping with its effects. As the Mayo Clinic reports, currently “there is no cure for gastroparesis, but changes to your diet, along with medication, can offer some relief (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/basics/definition/con-20023971).”
Education is crucial to understanding and helping combat the debilitating effects of gastroparesis. Don’t let this be just a word you’ve now heard, attached to a condition you don’t really understand. Learn about how you can help those currently fighting a very real battle against an adversary that is still, to a large extent, shrouded in mystery. One woman whose life has been adversely impacted by gastroparesis for a number of years now is Lenora Rogers, an author and blogger from Cullman, Alabama. She has seen her health deteriorate significantly in the past three years, and is now struggling both with the disease and with financial burdens that make daily survival a difficult proposition. Rogers has set up a PayPal account at email@example.com to help defray some of her expenses and welcomes any help which might give her a chance to return to a normal life that has been out of reach for her now for some time.
Lenora is just one of the faces of gastroparesis’ victims, and with the help of everyone who reads this, better quality of life—and perhaps even a cure—can come to each and every one of them. The first step to change is greater awareness. The second is action. You can make a difference, if you only reach out and try. Lenora is also battling with Hemochromatosis a disorder of iron overload in the body.
Please help me get my life back to normal. I am now dealing with blood pressure problems in addition to the gastroparesis and comochromastosis. I am tired and out of energy and worrying about finances that I am unable to rest. Adding update More health issues and things getting harder to handle. I may have comochromastosis (iron overload) and My B6 vitamin levels as well as B1, B12, Vitamin D, Potassium also low and protein. Praying for help. Please donate and share.
UPDATE: I have also now been diagnosed with and iron overload disease called “Hemochromastosis” and need your help.