Hi all ! My name is Nicole and I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis in 2017. I was however having symptoms two years beforehand! Two years ago I randomly fell really sick on holiday in Portugal. One night i vomited everything I had eaten. I lost my appetite for a week, living off practically water. I was at a scary low weight by this point.
My parents took me to a private doctor who told me I had ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety’ (yes- i was depressed from not being able to eat and the nausea!!!). I was then put on anti depressants and some vitamins. A month later I started to feel a little better, but kept getting random nauseous episodes where I would just feel randomly sick.
I never vomited again but I never felt ‘normal’. On top of that I was burping an abnormal amount of times a day! This went on for two years before I decided to get it investigated further. The doctors kept telling me ‘it’s nothing serious’ but I knew something wasn’t right. Their question was always ‘ Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?’ !!!!!
By this time, my nausea was chronic, never ending, morning until night. I was at university at the time and they assumed my symptoms were from stress. I was losing weight. I underwent various tests: blood tests, stool tests, endoscopies, ultrasounds, MRIs, everything coming back normal apart from getting told I had a hiatal hernia and bad GERD. Hence I was put on PPI’s which didn’t really help anything!
I honestly thought I was going insane and was at my wit’s end. I was finally referred to a gastroenterologist who diagnosed me with ‘ Idiopathic Gastroparesis’ after a gastric emptying study. This means: partial paralysis of the stomach, the stomach takes too long to empty. Cause: Unknown. I had never heard of it before but it quite frankly scared me, especially knowing that some people end up with feeding tubes as their stomachs completely shut down. Treatment options are very limited and there is no cure. I went and researched Gastroparesis online and honestly cried my eyes out at the results. The internet is full of negative stories and information. The information itself is so limited and even specialists are clueless about this condition!
Everyday is a massive battle . But I keep smiling, I won’t let this monstrous disease win. Life is too beautiful for that!