Gastroparesis is a tricky disorder. Not only does it affect your stomach, it also has a profound affect on your brain. As mentioned in previous blogs, I believe a reason for this is due to the malnourishment. However, I suspect that there is something larger going on. My hypothesis is that Gastroparesis also affects the chemicals in your brain. I’m not a medical researcher, I haven’t read anything on this subject, but I know how I felt when I had a concussion, I know how I felt prior to Gastroparesis, and I know what I feel like now. The only logical conclusion that I can come to is that in addition to the malnourishment that there is also a chemical affect.
It also seems in talking to others with Gastroparesis that the brain element is much larger than anyone gives credence to or discusses publicly. It is an area that needs more discussion. This morning has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. I swing between highs of feeling extremely motivated, inspired, and unique original ideas for both my day job and advocacy work. Then the pendulum swings into extreme lows. Lows that are rather dark and only others with Gastroparesis totally understand. When you come out of the darkness, you think to yourself “who was that person?”
The worst instances of the pendulum is when it swings from hour to hour and your brain is literally all over the map. It’s like you are riding a roller coaster and the chemicals in your brain are dictated the course of the car. You have a surge of one chemical and you are flying high. You are happy, you are motivated, you come up with some truly amazing unique work. Then in the snap of the finger the chemical is gone and replaced with another one, you are then in a tunnel underground hoping that soon you will pop out on the other side.
I try to keep my entries light-hearted and show how to remain positive through fighting Gastroparesis. However, I feel it is important to also educate about the dark side of Gastroparesis. When it gets dark, it gets REALLY dark. It is EXTREMELY important to remain positive so that when the darkness hits you can listen to that little voice in the back of your mind that is trying to break through and tell you that you can do it. Without that little voice, it would be hard to come out of the darkness.
Now if I could just get off the roller coaster so that I can ride the antique cars with the GP Elves. It seems like it would be a much smoother ride with time to enjoy the scenery.
Oh Millie, This blog describes me to a T today! Before I read this blog I just got done writing to a friend of how tired I was of the ups and downs, the good days and the bad days. Even with a new grandbaby due in a week I am still finding it hard to stay positive at times. It’s nice to know I am not alone with the emotional roller coaster. Once again, thank you for your words!
It’s amazing how we all seem to flair and face depression at the same time. It is really odd how we are all in so much sync it is scary.
Hope you start to feel better. I’m still a bit of a yo-yo.
What you describe with the “ups and downs” is exactly what has happened to me with GP over the years. I get crabby and feel like I’m not myself, then other times I’m extremely upbeat and feel more normal like I did during the “pre-GP years”… yesterday I actually got a dizzy spell and I haven’t had one in years (and wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary)… thank you hormones and bodily chemical fluctuations (daily and monthly)! ;-P Today I feel fine, however, so go figure!
It is always helpful to know when others struggle with the same issues!
Emotional roller coasters suck! I am new hear, by reading some of your posts, I am inspired and it gives me hope and something to look forward to. I am currently having my extreme downs right now, so it was nice to hear some positive. I have read some of your posts and I definitely have to agree with brain fog and your therory on gastroparesis affecting brain chemicals. And it is very TRUE. GP often limits the foods you can intake or tolerate. Certain foods give off chemicals that inhance the brain activity. When your brain lacks certain chemicals, it can give off a wide rannge of symptoms. When you are malnourished your brain doesn’t get the chemicals it needs to function properly. Some foods can even damage the brain. Here are some websites to check out that I just quickly googled. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/14706/1/Natural-Brain-Food... , http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural…/foods…brain-power
Thank you Bri!
I’m glad that you were able to have hope! Giving hope and educating others was my goal when creating this blog.
Thank you for sending the information on how foods affect the brain. I will be checking it out for sure!
I feel like I just bought a ticket to yet another theme park. I’m 33.. not 13. Don’t get me wrong I love the rides..but one thing I have yet to accept with GP is.. I have no control over the getting on and off of this ride. I have an image of myself in my mind.. inside my imagination I picture my life..the way it should be..the way it was supposed to be. The newer version of the American dream.. a little updated by our generation..but ready to succeed and fail..whatever it maybe.. I’m happy in my facade. My shadow has more depth than the usual cast. I am an intelligent ..loyal..caring.. helpful.. individual.. with GP.. the GP defines my life.. the cycle.. the physical causing the mental that causes the physical.. we r hamsters on the wheel ..
It is so hard to come to grips with what life has to be versus what life should be due to GP.
It is extremely difficult to find a way for GP to not define who you are. It is something that I have to continually work at every day.
Hopefully you will find some relief soon!
Wow, thank you so much for this. I’ve been feeling really alone and worried since realizing I have GP. I will regurgitate food (gross, I know, sorry) every night… Even up to 11 hours after eating it, if it’s something I don’t digest well- like cantaloupe). I am worried for my brain, literally, as the fluctuations from my weird digestion seem to cause a range of things- non specific worry (goes away when food regurgitates, presents before). I also suddenly began getting sleep problems- where I begin daydreaming into sleep the moment I close my eyes- mild hypnagogia, before fully asleep. Also, something almost like OCD, but seems very much tied to my overall digestion. I am very calm, generally, and logical… so the undigested food chemically impacting my brain scares me long term (implications). Anyway, it’s just hard. I’m also a mom and a wife. Thanks for your post! (On my cell, hope you can read this).
Sorry to hear that you are going through a bad patch! GP is definitely a tough disorder to navigate (especially as a wife & mom)! The best advice I can give is to analyze your entire diet and eliminate as many chemicals as possible. It has made a huge difference for me & several other GPers that I have talked to.
As much as we all get tired of hearing this phrase, hang in there!
Hope, 2 years later, this comment finds everyone well and active. The love of my life was recently diagnosed with GP about 8 months ago and has lost over 200lbs and use of her legs. To offer opinion on the chemical changes due to GP, it would seem if the body cannot get to nutrition needed to produce the proper chemicals than it goes to follow that with malnutrition comes chemical imbalances. I will try to direct my dearest to this page once I know if it is still active.