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coffee to combat gastroparesis/stomach not emptying


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#1 netgypsy

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 01:15 AM

I'm fairly sure my stomach is not emptying as it should and that it is familial. PWP can't use reglan so I'm going to ask my GP about trying a low dosage of erythromycin but in the meantime I'm trying an experiment with coffee. I'm drinking 1/2 cup of fairly strong coffee made with one heaping tablespoon and 1/2 cup water about 1/2 hour before I eat. The reason is two fold and anecdotal. My mother always had a sluggish digestive system and would drink coffee to speed things up and my SO complained about not being able to drink regular coffee when she was much younger because it caused severe cramps and diarrhea. When I thought about this I figured why not try it.

So this is the end of day one and other than having a 45 minute mini crash due to protein intake I stayed medicated the entire day.

If anyone else is interested in trying this please report on your success.

If you have crashes even though you are taking your meds and can drink coffee safely and are pretty sure you are crashing because the meds aren't getting through your digestive system which is true in my case it might help. I also stayed away most of the day so a second unplanned benefit.

I'll keep you guys posted on how well it works because my crashes are really bad and can't be predicted. I know high fat meals cause the stomach not to empty but I have to eat a lot of fat or I'll lose weight.

We'll see how it does tomorrow????

#2 reverett123

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 04:11 AM

I hope you stick with the experiment long enough to see if it helps, but you might want to add this to the list for the future-


1. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 May;20(5):436-40.

Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans.

Wu KL, Rayner CK, Chuah SK, Changchien CS, Lu SN, Chiu YC, Chiu KW, Lee CM.

Division of Hepatogastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of
Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung
University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. kengliang_wu@yahoo.com.tw

OBJECTIVE: Ginger has been reported to improve upper gastrointestinal symptoms.
Little information about the effects of ginger on gastric motor function, exists,
however. Our aim was to investigate the effects of ginger on gastric emptying,
antral motility, proximal gastric dimensions, and postprandial symptoms. METHODS:
Twenty-four healthy volunteers were studied twice in a randomized double-blind
manner. After an 8 h fast, the volunteers ingested three ginger capsules (total
1200 mg) or placebo, followed after 1 h by 500 ml low-nutrient soup. Antral area,
fundus area and diameter, and the frequency of antral contractions were measured
using ultrasound at frequent intervals over 90 min, and the gastric half-emptying
time was calculated from the change in antral area. Gastrointestinal sensations
and appetite were scored using visual analog questionnaires. Data are expressed
in terms of mean+/-standard error. RESULTS: Antral area decreased more rapidly
(P<0.001) and the gastric half-emptying time was less after ginger than placebo
ingestion (13.1+/-1.1 vs. 26.7+/-3.1 min, P<0.01), whereas the frequency of
antral contractions was greater (P<0.005). Fundus dimensions did not differ, and
there was no significant difference in any gastrointestinal symptoms. CONCLUSION:
Ginger accelerates gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy
volunteers. These effects could potentially be beneficial in symptomatic patient
groups.

PMID: 18403946 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

#3 netgypsy

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:55 AM

Actually we use ginger quite a bit and are using a therapeutic dose on an old horse with arthritis but although it is anti inflammatory and reduces nausea I had not heard it improves gastric motility. supposedly the human dosage is 1/4 teaspoon a day. thanks. It's great stuff that's for sure.

You get a lot better price at an Indian or middle eastern grocery than at a health food store by the way. We stocked up on tumeric when we bought the ginger although it is said that you can't absorb much of the active ingredient in tumeric by eating it.

#4 ghostgirl

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 11:25 AM

How do you know when your stomach is emptying? can a full feeling in the stomach occur if the stomach is empty? ( as a result of a hormonal issue)

what is difficult for me is to pin down my nutritional needs within cycles because i suspect cycles themselves (not just menstrual) play a big role in digestion- am considering seeing a "functional medicine" doc
Sharilyn

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength.
-Ralph Sockman

#5 netgypsy

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 11:39 AM

The most definitive way is to have a gastric emptying study done where you eat a meal with a radioactive trace element in it and they watch it.

Anecdotal evidence would be feeling full very quickly after you begin eating, feeling bloated and not hungry after a reasonable time and unexplained weight loss due to just not eating much. I believe my aunt had this problem on my father's side and my mother and her sister and brother so it can be familial. Perhaps constipation occurs with this but not necessarily unless the entire digestive tract is sluggish which was the case in my family on both sides.

I've not had the study done and I don't have bloating but I am excessively thin and feel full very soon after I begin to eat. I have to drink about 8 ounces of salad oil at night just to keep from losing weight. I do know that dopamine kills my appetite and if I lower the intake my appetite returns but doppamine also relieves my problem with sluggish bowel so it's a balance to get the right amount digestive wise.

So why do I think it's not emptying? Because I have horrendous crashes (PD symptoms full blown) after some meals - usually in the afternoon, gastroparesis is pretty common in PWP and I am very thin and don't eat a lot because I feel full quite quickly. A less sever form of gastroparesis is when the stomach doesn't empty completely. If it doesn't empty at all you have major bloating and have to have feeding tube if meds don't work. This is what happened with my aunt. She had lupus also by the way.

This is day two of my coffee test and so far the dopamine is working. I have a really simple test to see if it is. I have a recliner and I prop my feet up on a chair with wheels. When the meds are working I can lift my feet three feet up above the horizontal. When they aren't I can only lift them about six inches and it's quite difficult (the brakes are on so to speak).

A stomach not emptying crash for me is far worse than a protein crash and lasts a lot longer so this is how I discriminate between the two, plus I'm not overloading on protein during the day. For brunch (we stay up very late so sleep in a bit) I had a good sized portion of spaghetti with meat and tomato sauce over bean thread noodles and one pineapple spear. If my stomach doesn't empty I'll crash within an hour or two. If the protein causes problems I'll be a bit stiff but won't have massive anxiety.

Interesting to try anyway. One can always hope there is a simple solution to the crashes.

Regarding cycle - we all know how much hormones affect everything. If I were a young female I think I'd probably try the shots or implant that stop the menstrual cycle for a while. This way I'd at least know how much it affected my PD symptoms. It has to though because of the increased stress levels and just not feeling good associated with even mild PMS.

#6 Rogerstar1

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:54 PM

Thank you Netgypsy, consistently insightful Reverett and Sharilynn. I'm a witness to complications in maximizing L-dopa out of the gut, into the blood stream, past the blood brain barrier to the substantia nigra and ultimately the synapse. Saturday's cheeseburger and potato salad went down a little funny in retrospect and by Sunday I was in the clutches of an extremely upset stomach. Diarrhea , queasiness, no appetite. Doctor explained to me this morning that during a virus assault or food poisoning the stomach's absorption capacity slows or shuts down defensively. Pills and more pills couldn't get me off the dime or if they did it lasted briefly and was tentative. One thing Parkinson's seem to allow us is a glimpse around the upcoming corner at what awaits, in this case when the pills no longer work. Good or bad, welcomed or not, ambiguity is rung out.
Special note to Stargazer: I've done my personal "bitterness" inventory (again, smile) and still can't find any of what that pejorative term signifies to me. Considering our similarities for a minute I believe we share reliance on a technique. We both understand that being thankful is so important to achieving the best emotional state possible and is the right way to be in it's own right. When we are thankful (and humble as virtually required of thankfulness) negative frames of mind can't get in. That you have an elaborate framework with rules and preachers ginning up yours and an icon to train your fervor upon reminds me of our shared approach. I perceive a distinct similarity. I never have any trouble finding something to be thankful for or a person to thank for a favor performed. Incidentally, I watch more religious programming on TV than you do by far, I bet. Have a super week.

Roger

#7 Rogerstar1

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:54 PM

deleted by author when accidently reposted.

#8 Stargazer

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:52 PM

Sorry Netgypsy I am intruding on your post I need to reply to Roger, how ever I do have trouble with gastroparesis and it also will make me spend a day with meds not working. Makes me vow to stay on a decent diet until the next weak moment when I eat the wrong thing most often I don't think it is what I eat as much as I overeat at that given time.
I read your postings as well as the others and find them all interesting and insightful. Must also say many times you are over my head with the topics but still read them one can always learn.

Roger what can I say you are a very complex man I think you rather like to needle me a bit but at the same time I am not going to pass up an opportunity to try to evangelize a bit. I must say I am pleased to know you are not that far off the good track and might agree that you do watch many more religious programs than I do. I never pass up a chance to listen to Max Lucado or Rick Warren. So do we part as friends, to be on the same path with you I feel is an honor. Don't forget to let me know when you leave on your beloved Mt. trip, some one needs to pray for your safety which I will do.

Friends for now,
Deeann

#9 netgypsy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 12:55 AM

Day three on coffee

Had more great spaghetti for breakfast and another pineapple spear and the half cup strong coffee. Was a bit sleepy and had a bit of a protein crash but not bad at all.

Went to doc to get the results of a vasculitis workup which I think came too late to really show if I had it which I'm pretty sure I did and a couple of things indicated an infection somewhere - probably the UTI but the urine culture was negative so again probably too late to pick up on whatever I had that sent me to the moon mentally and physically.

So back to the coffee - I was able to go shopping today with out much trouble after the trip to the doctor. Ate a pizza at Sams and had a protein crash from it that wasn't severe - not anxiety - just stiffness. Sam's doesn't sell coffee so I had to wait until I got home to drink some BUT I had minor diarrhea today three times which is extremely unusual and to me evidence that the coffee is indeed working on my GI tract as I'm down from 16 milk of magnesia tablets when I was on requip (GI told me to use m of m) to 1 tablet plus psyllium 1/2 teaspoon of Konsyl brand that has no sugar in it. Expensive but worth it. You use half as much.

Had one more half cup of coffee in the evening with eggs bacon and watermelon plus a few cheese crackers and still was pretty functional. Too crashed to feed the horses tonight but walked a lot more than usual yesterday and today so SO fed tonight.

So far this is a very quick and easy solution that has reduced the severity of my crashes probably 80%. I don't walk really well but my brain is working which is worth a LOT during a crash. UTI seems to be pretty much cleared up thank goodness.

Quite an improvement so far.

#10 Stargazer

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:30 AM

My apologies netgypsy after posting I googled gastroparesis and realized that is not the word I thought it to be . I by no means have that much difficulty but do have a problem due to a botched up appendicitis operation many years ago. The small town Doc did not get all things back into the proper place, he needed to practice up on his operating skills. Since leaving me with problems but not to the degree of gastroparesis.

Needless to say anything that fowls up the system of the digestive tract and beyond does cause havoc with our entire system. So upon learning what you people are truly going through I shall read more thoroughly and wish you well with your experiment.

Good luck,
Deeann

#11 netgypsy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 10:05 PM

A sluggish bowel is apparently a symptom all PWP have to deal with but not all have the stomach failing to empty completely or at all. But it's not uncommon.

Today ate a late breakfast of barbecue, salad, spinach and brunswick stew. Pigged out on the barbecue and paid for it later with a protein crash. The coffee was really nasty after being used to drinking Green Mountain Colombian coffee - yummm. But I was able to function the entire day with a minimum of anxiety.

So far so good on the coffee experiment.

#12 oneguy

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 12:48 PM

Dear Netgypsy,

I'm writing this in a great mood as I listen to the Beegees sing their classic songs. It gives a pathetic 64 year old male-type the urge to get up and dance his lights out. I often go beyond this urge, and, in fact dance up a storm in the kitchen hoping nobody that I care about peeps in the window -- or should I care.

Now, on to your coffee experiment. I have similar issues to you in that I've lost 25 pounds that I can't afford to lose. I've been recording my weight every day and I seem to be fairly stable now at 141 lbs. -- I'm 5' 8". I get that bloated feeling too often and a slow stomach emptying which is problematic for absorption of my levodopa. I've been experimenting too: I have been trying to eat a large bowl of popcorn every day for about two months. I believe it helps. Here is an important sidebar: I use lots of good olive oil to pop the popcorn. That way the popcorn has this nice taste at the same time it goes down my system with this olive oil which helps my digestion. I don't use butter on the popcorn, but I probably use way too much salt. I grimace at the thought of your taking spoonfuls of oil at one time -- I've tried it and it is fairly awful in my estimation.

Anyway, try a big bowl of oily popcorn and ready yourself for a rocket ride to the bathroom.

And with a tip of the hat to you and Orville Rittenbacher!!

Cheers,

Oneguy

#13 Rogerstar1

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 01:39 PM

Anyone: What is a nutritious unsalted snack (solid or liquid) that has minimal negative impact on medication absorption while delivering maximum energy, vitamins, etc.? Time to acquire another juicer perhaps.

I find that medication on an empty stomach followed by much water delivers the most drug to wherever it needs to be. Are their other foods that can amplify Sinemet? A beer or two? Black bean dip? What are you snacking on these days Sharilynn?

Roger

#14 netgypsy

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:36 AM

I eat a lot of nuts, cheeseits crackers, bean flour Indian snacks. I do love popcorn and add a mix of butter and olive oil to season it but have always found it constipating. And it has a fairly high glycemic index which I try to avoid but since it's mostly air you really don't eat a lot in a serving, especially with all that added fat. The lower sugar fruits and veggies at least parboiled with a yoghurt dip, are good. As far as sinemet though - an empty stomach and the coffee to help it empty - just black - actually have gotten to like it.

I'm 6' when my meds are working 5'8" when I have the parky stoop and barely weigh 140 but I was down to 123. I cut my sinemet and got my appetite back and gained the 17 pounds back so watch your dosage - it does kill your appetite

Edited by netgypsy, 19 June 2010 - 12:05 PM.


#15 reverett123

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 05:44 PM

If the coffee doesn't work out, you might want to remember this. Don't take too much as it will cause dyskinesia.

1. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 May;20(5):436-40.
Effects of ginger on gastric emptying and motility in healthy humans.
Wu KL, Rayner CK, Chuah SK, Changchien CS, Lu SN, Chiu YC, Chiu KW, Lee CM.

"....CONCLUSION: Ginger accelerates gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy volunteers. These effects could potentially be beneficial in symptomatic patient groups."

(Note: This one was even done on humans.)

#16 netgypsy

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:39 PM

Caffeine definitely causes dyskinesia. I tried nodoz when I was first on sinemet and fainting/narcolepsy type thing was going on and I would shake from head to toe. Coffee doesn't cause me this problem though. Probably because I don't just inhale it but drink it with breakfast.

I've done ginger tea also but haven't had quite as good a response from it. Have to try it again though because it's great for a lot of things.




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