- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Help for those with Gastroparesis
I wanted to pass on some information to anyone suffering with Gastroparesis, or even worse, undiagnosed Gastroparesis.
Here is our story:
Over the past few years my wife's health had been declining. It began to exponentially decline towards the beginning of this year where her constipation/diarrhea became worse, and she began to have increasing nausea. Because my wife has legitimate Fibromyalgia we 'assumed' at the time it was merely medicinal.
Fast forwarding to May 2012, her nausea increased from weekly, to twice weekly, to daily, to hourly, to constant!
Over the next few months she began having extreme daily sweats, and the began vomiting. Because my wife is easy to puke, we didn't think much of it, until it became weekly, then daily!!
By June she was in bed constantly. Every time she stood up she was nauseous, and she was literally throwing up multiple times per hour, regardless if she ate or not. We were at urgent care and the ER several times trying to figure out what the problem was. I was fighting to get her a Gastrointerologist appointment, but their earliest appointements were months away. I even tried calling my health insurance "health advocate."
Finally after weeks of misery we got into see the Gastrointerologist and he explained to us that she appeared to have Gastroparesis. In laymen's terms, it is when your stomach stops working (Paralyzed i.e. "paresis") and can no longer digest food. He recommended an upper-GI to confirm his diagnosis. However, once more that was scheduled weeks out!!
At this point my wife was literally in bed 23-24 hours a day and she looked as if she was literally on her death-bed. She could barely move due to the nausea, her migraines intensified, and she literally could not function.
Frustrated and exasperated I continued to harass the scheduling office because it was incomprehensible to me that someone in as much misery as my wife could be made to wait weeks for an upper-GI. We got the date moved up slightly but it was a long debilitating wait.
After the upper-GI the doctor confirmed that on what SHOULD have been an empty stomach given how many hours she was supposed to fast and be on a complete liquid diet, her stomach was nearly full. He described it as "one of the worst cases of Gastroparesis he's seen."
Great we had confirmation it was at least SOMETHING. Having the diagnosis was great, however there is hardly any treatment for Gastroparesis!!! Amitryptaline is one option, and there are a few others, but the side-effects were intolerable for my wife. The doctor sent as a generic 1 page document on Gastroparesis akin to what you can find on Google. Basically stay on a liquid diet.
She was still literally incapacitated when she found out about a dietary program called MediFast from one of our daughter's friends parents.
Me, being the natural skeptic, figured it was another MLM program that she (the Mom) was looking for another customer. Still, I figured what an it hurt.
So, her friend brought over a bag of these shakes and some other stuff. My wife could not eat anything solid at this point, so she attempted to drink a few shakes. She was initially not a fan of the taste, but at least she could keep some of it down.
After about a day of shakes she was able to get out of bed and at least move around the house. This was HUGE considering where she had been prior. She continued with the shakes trying to at least drink 1 a day.
She continued on this program for a few weeks and when she worked up to 2-3 shakes a day, she began to appear life-like. She no longer was vomiting and her nausea subsided.
Fast forwarding to present, my wife now has a job at Gymboree (something she hasn't been in good health enough to consider in years) and the initial debilitating nausea and vomiting of Gastroparesis are gone.
She still has some ongoing IBS-like constipation/diarrhea issues that are part of the condition, but it is exponentially better than several months ago.
I can 100% emphatically say MediFast saved my wife's life.
I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL INTEREST IN MEDIFAST!!!
Neither one of us sell the products, nor do we has she even tried any of their other products.
I chose to write this review in a neutral place so hopefully it will help someone else struggling with diagnosed or undiagnosed Gastroparesis. My wife didn't follow or subscribe to any specific program or treatment plan that they offer. She just simply began drinking their shakes.
When the Gatrointerologist saw her at a follow-up he was AMAZED at how she appeared to have gone from death-to-life. He said MediFast was a perfect solution for her.
I don't know what is in those shakes, but the nutritional value in my opinion is inarguably invaluable.
So, for that I am grateful to MediFast.