diabetic gastroparesis...surgery didn't work, now what?

meaning of gray
By meaning of gray Latest Reply 2011-08-27 18:28:17 -0500
Started 2011-08-15 01:58:57 -0500

i never knew that constant nausea and vomiting 3-6 times a day were yet more complications to having diabetes (i'm insulin-dependent type 2). i was diagnosed w/diabetic gastroparesis about 10 months ago. over the last year i have been to ER 37 times due to extreme low bgl's (lowest was 23) and dehydration caused by constant vomiting. after tons of tests and waiting, i had an electric gastric stimulator implanted under my ribs on my left side w/leads that clamp into my stomach wall. the idea is that the stim will "shock" the stomach into digesting, in-effect doing what my damaged nerves can no longer do. i've had this thing in me for 2 months, June 15th it was implanted. now, not only am i still vomiting (usually 2-3 times/day), am extremely nauseous, am on my 4th round of antibiotics due to raging infection in the main incision site…but i am in so much physical pain when food or liquid is trying to be digested. i am carrying around my 6th glucogone kit since surgery…family or home health aids have had to inject me w/emergency glucose five times in the last 8 weeks. i am at my wits end!
HAS ANYONE DEALT W/DIABETIC GASTROPARESIS AND/OR SURGERY FOR IT? my "diet" consists of yogourt, puddings, broths, protein shakes…
thank you for any feedback. (sorry to be complaining :( )

20 replies

Theon 2011-08-27 18:28:17 -0500 Report

I also have gastroparesis. I have had it for 5 years. The medication didn'y work. the doctor did not want to do the surgery. So I now take Xanax and Fenigan when I am nauseated. I sleep a lot, but I feel much better. The Xanax relaxes the muscles; the Fenigan eliminates the vomiting and nausea.

the samuels
the samuels 2011-08-16 12:10:20 -0500 Report

my husband suffers from diabetic gastroparesis alaso. the next step is the gastric pacer. is there any relief?

meaning of gray
meaning of gray 2011-08-17 01:08:44 -0500 Report

i tried to reply earlier, but my RA is really flared up right now and i couldn't finish writing…i'm sorry your husband has gastroparesis…i sometimes wonder who it's harder for—the one who is sick or the one listening to the other get sick! yes, there is relief promised. i have improved slightly in regard to the vomiting, however the pain and infection from the implant far outway any benefit i am feeling. my gastro in seattle said that it could take a year to get the benefits…uummm, no! my surgeon is wanting to have it removed…there is another option where the stomach is sectioned off (as if there were stomach cancer, not a by-pass operation). i need to review the paper work i have on it before i explain it further, i don't want to give false info. if your husband is having the gastric pacemaker (electric stimulator) or considering it you guys may want to look at this site:
as far as i know medtronic is the only manufacturer of the stims. please feel free to contact me for any additional info. i hope all gets better…take care, BOTH of you

CWDncr 2011-08-16 02:25:33 -0500 Report

I also have gastroparesis. I've had so many scopes done and I am still having pain, nausa, and vomiting. The stomach doc became so frustrated with my condition because I wasn't getting better. Finally he gave up and had me released from his practice. He sent me a letter and said the reason this was happening was that I wasn't complying with his treatment plan. This was a total lie. One of my friends used to work for him when I was going to him and she said that I was totally compliant with everything he asked me to do. To this day I still have stomach problems. I can totally relate with your struggle with this problem. Sorry I'm not much help.

GabbyPA 2011-08-17 20:00:55 -0500 Report

Is there nothing you can do about the history that says that? Why would the doctor say that if that was not the case? That is so small minded of him that he thinks he has all the answers.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-08-15 11:44:02 -0500 Report

Thanks for the education. I never heard or knew there was a connection between the 2 conditions. Sorry you had to be a test subject. Hope is eases soon. Jim

Tender Tips
Tender Tips 2011-08-15 10:45:15 -0500 Report

So sorry that you are going through all this and am keeping you in my prayers for the doctors to get on the ball and help you for goodness sake!

meaning of gray
meaning of gray 2011-08-15 10:03:17 -0500 Report

Thank you guys so much for your concerns and information, i really appreciate it! i saw my surgeon 2 weeks ago..and my gastrointerologist about 10 days ago. my gastro said it could take up to a year for the stim to work. :-\ but my surgeon thinks i should have the device taken out…i'm patiently waiting for 8am to come as i am calling my gastro for the 4 "business" day in a row. it's difficult cuz my docs are in Seattle and i live across the water, so it is a drive, then ferry then bus to get to Swedish hosp. very exhausting!
thank you all again for your replies. i am going to be diligent in getting help for this. i've had alot of not so fun experiences w/docs (as i am sure all of us have!), so i'm always afraid that they won't believe me, as so many symptoms are invisible (you don't look sick!). but the infection, which is getting better, and vomiting are certainly visible, i just need to be more insistent on getting help..difficult for me.

gbc43 2011-08-15 06:25:34 -0500 Report

Things you not saying that I have questions about .Types of food and food intake ,plus BS number.The infection, its been their for two months ? Ive been in your shoes from day one and I understand but you should be getting help from lots of different Drs.
You should know when your BS low.
Do you do the blinder game -maybe that will help .

AuntieM234 2011-08-15 03:35:59 -0500 Report

Hey Brandy: What I don't understand is why you're not in the hospital!? What with the vomiting you are probably dehydrated, coupled with the fact that you have that major infection, you could be in serious trouble! IMO you need to have a serious discussion with your Dr. ;-) Mara

jayabee52 2011-08-15 02:23:08 -0500 Report

I think I would be complaining too Brandy if I had that problem.

I am a bit concerned that I may be on the beginning of the path to gastroparesis myself. I have beneign peripheral vertigo where I get a bit dizzy and then vomit a little bit. Some of the time the vomit brings up something that I had eaten for my supper the night before, and it is time for supper now. There was no sign of digestion at all. I thought that it SHOULD have been digested hours ago, but there it is. I'm having my Gastro look into it.

But back to you.

I really have no good suggestion for a solution to this. I had been a home health aide for about 10 yrs and I took care of severely injured people who needed to be fed with a through the stomach wall feeding tube. I don't know if something like bypassing the esophagus would stop your vomiting. I don't know if getting fed by a feeding tube would even be acceptable to you, or if it has been already suggested and nixed for some reason. I wouldn't know if there would even be contraindications for an application like that for a situation like yours. That would, of course, be for you and your Gastro to decide.

The best I can do at the moment is to pray that the vomiting diminishes and that you can be more comfortable.

From my heart

AuntieM234 2011-08-15 03:26:22 -0500 Report

James: How often do you eat citrus? I doubt that you eat much, if any, given your eating plan. Do you know that citrus inhibits the stomach's secretion of pepsis acid, which is needed along with the other acid (can't pop the name out right now) needed for digestion of protein? The protein will lie in your stomach, undigested, and ferment for a long time; thus, causing discomfort in the mid-section. ;-) Mara

jayabee52 2011-08-15 04:53:41 -0500 Report

No I did not know that. Is the acid you're looking for is hydrocloric acid? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_acid)

Actually I do eat a small clementine organge about once a day and have been doing that for about 2 weeks now. Please don't tell my tummy that Mara, It hasn't caused me discomfort in quite some time. Don't want it to start now. LoL!

My vomit is from another process it seems. It is due, I believe either from the BPV or a side effect of my kidney numbers going haywire and poisoning my bloodstream, like happened with my first bout with kidney failure. But honestly it is mostly conjecture on my part