2022 Gastroparesis Awareness Month: The Burdens, Concerns, and Quality of Life for Individuals

International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) raises awareness for Gastroparesis Awareness Month to shed light on the challenges of living with gastroparesis

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., July 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Gastroparesis Awareness Month, established by IFFGD in 2016, takes place every year during the month of August. IFFGD utilizes its platform to support the gastroparesis community by raising awareness to promote education and encourage research. Gastroparesis is a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder affecting approximately 5 million people in the United States and about 38 women and 10 men per 100,000 people.

For over thirty years, IFFGD has advocated for more research to help improve diagnostic and treatment options available to improve the quality of life for those with GI disorders like gastroparesis. Ceciel Rooker, IFFGD President, explained "The symptoms, burdens, and challenges that many face while living with gastroparesis can be extremely debilitating and life-threatening, and in order for advances in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of gastroparesis to be made, their voices must be heard."

Gastroparesis (GP) is a condition of slowed stomach emptying with no intestinal blockage. Healthcare providers often refer to it as delayed gastric emptying. This is a motility disorder where the stomach does not empty food as quickly as it should. Symptoms usually occur during or after a meal and can appear suddenly or gradually.

Symptoms of gastroparesis typically include: 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Stomach pain and discomfort 
  • Dry heaves 
  • Stomach fullness after a normal-sized meal 
  • Early fullness and the inability to finish a meal 

Additional symptoms, such as bloating, stomach discomfort or pain, loss of appetite, and heartburn, among others, may occur. Left unmanaged, gastroparesis can lead to additional complications, including severe dehydration, obstruction, poor insulin control in individuals with underlying diabetes, and malnutrition due to poor absorption of nutrients.

Despite the burden posed on those affected, gastroparesis remains a little-known condition, and many face diagnostic delays, suffering an average of five years before receiving the answers and care that they need. Patients may experience multiple misdiagnoses during this time, undergoing numerous hospitalizations and diagnostic tests. "The search for answers often leaves those affected feeling helpless. But this year, for Gastroparesis Awareness Month, we will shed light on ways to overcome these challenges." said Rooker.

In recognition of Gastroparesis Awareness Month, IFFGD will launch a campaign to acknowledge the challenges of living with gastroparesis — symptom burdens, finding the right treatment options, and lifestyle modifications — using the hashtag #LivingWithGP. During Gastroparesis Awareness Month, we invite you to share your gastroparesis story and make your voice heard with #LivingWithGP. IFFGD’s Gastroparesis Awareness Month materials include a media toolkit with statistics and key messaging to post on social media, one campaign poster, one website banner, and social media images. Click here to download the official Gastroparesis Awareness Month material.

About IFFGD 

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) is a nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by a chronic gastrointestinal disorder. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, improving education, and supporting and encouraging research into treatments and cures for chronic digestive diseases. 

Media Contact:
Hayley McCorkle
(414) 964-1799

SOURCE International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders