Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2017


Gastroparesis is a chronic disease that causes paralysis of the stomach and intestines. Although gastroparesis can sometimes be caused by trauma or as a result of abdominal surgery the majority of cases are idiopathic, meaning that the cause of onset is unknown. Patients with the disease experience nausea, vomiting of undigested good, malnutrition, and dehydration. A large percentage of IG (idiopathic gastroparesis) patients have to rely on a feeding tube for their nutrients because of their lack of ability to digest food, which is messy, cumbersome, and noisy. There are several methods of symptom management for IG, but no cure. Current treatments include the use of medications to try and stimulate gastric motility as well as more obscure experimental treatments such as using botulinum toxin to lessen the paralysis.

This thesis serves as a literature review of current studies on IG and the frequently used methods of managing the disease. The thesis also serves as an opportunity to look at an often neglected aspect of IG, which is the effect that the illness has on the mental health of its sufferers. The illness leaves patients socially isolated, which leads to increased rates of mental illness such as anxiety and depression. Nursing is not only about caring for the patient’s illness, but caring for the patient on a holistic level, which means looking out for their mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well as the physical. I want to use this thesis as a way to call attention to the struggles that IG sufferers face on both the physical and mental plane in an attempt to raise awareness for this illness through educating the public.

Included in

Nursing Commons