Update on Gastroparesis

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Abstract

Gastroparesis is a manifestation of diabetic autonomic neuropathy. Gastrointestinal autonomic neuropathy contributes to morbidity, mortality, reduced quality of life, and increased healthcare costs of a patient with diabetes mellitus. Complications from gastroparesis include ketoacidosis, infection, and bezoar formation. The gold standard for the diagnosis of gastroparesis is a gastric emptying study. Other tests and procedures may also be performed to eliminate other causes of the symptoms. In general, treatment involves dietary and lifestyle adjustment as well as pharmacological interventions. Gastric electrical stimulation has recently emerged as an effective strategy in the management of these patients. Research is evolving in this area to include the use of botulinum toxin to control symptoms of gastroparesis. Patients with gastroparesis can be frustrated with the symptoms they experience, the intensive treatment regimens they must follow, as well as the medical procedures they undergo during the course of their treatment. Quality of life is an important factor to consider when caring for and supporting these patients. This article will provide an overview of gastroparesis and the latest treatments available to improve gastric motility and prevent further complications.

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