As a nurse, you might already know that it’s Digestive Tract Paralysis Awareness Month. First founded by Gastroparesis Patient Association for Cures and Treatments Inc. (G-PACT) back in August 2010, Digestive Tract Paralysis Awareness Month raises awareness of digestive tract paralysis (DTP) by hosting or promoting educational events and fundraisers around the country.
What Is Digestive Tract Paralysis?
According to an article from Cure Joy, digestive tract paralysis is when part(s) of the digestive tract disrupts the regular process of digestion. Most healthy digestive systems function thanks to the rhythmic movement of muscles that help food move throughout the digestive tract. However, with DTP, the digestive tract muscles aren’t able to expand and contract enough to move food throughout the tract. This results in one of two DTP conditions, partial paralysis of the stomach, otherwise known as gastroparesis, or chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, which is essentially a paralysis of the intestines.
What Are the Symptoms of DTP?
DTP has a long list of possible symptoms. Oftentimes, people suffering from gastroparesis can experience everything from nausea and heartburn to vomiting, a feeling of fullness, a lack of appetite, or even night sweats. In extreme cases, patients can suffer from dehydration or malnutrition from all the vomiting. Symptoms with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction are a bit different and can include unpleasantries like constipation, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and even a loss of appetite. It’s important to note, however, that rarely do these symptoms all occur at the same time. In fact, symptoms are usually dependent on where the pseudo-obstruction is in the intestines.
Are There Treatment Options Available? See Page 2.