Mastic for Gastroparesis?

Q I’ve read some of your articles about mastic. Would it help diabetic stomach troubles, such as gastroparesis?

STEVEN, Harrisburg, NC

A Gastroparesis is especially associated with type 1 diabetes. It is also called delayed gastric emptying, a condition consisting of a partial paralysis (a paresis) of the stomach. The unfortunate result is that food remains in the stomach for a longer period of time. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion. The vagus nerve controls these contractions. A recent article in Current Diabetes Reviews questioned the involvement of Helicobacter pylori, one of the most common chronic infections worldwide, in diabetes and reports that H. pylori is the main cause of gastritis, peptic ulcer and gastric cancer.1 Moreover, those with diabetes mellitus are often affected by chronic infections. Many studies have shown that the gastrointestinal symptoms of H. pylori are as frequent in patients with type 1 diabetes as in the general population.

Mastic helps kill H. pylori. Therefore, to the degree that you have both gastroparesis and H. pylori infection, mastic could be of help.

Regarding gastroparesis and nutritional supplements, a wide array of vitamins and minerals are recommended because of the potential for nutrient deficiency. In a study done a number of years ago, the intake of dietary protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in patients with symptomatic idiopathic gastroparesis was evaluated and compared with asymptomatic controls. Intake of vitamins B6, vitamin C, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc were below the meager RDAs. Intake of vitamin B12, vitamin C, folate, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc were significantly less than controls. It is a good idea to make sure you take a potent multivitamin, multimineral, antioxidant formulation, and be sure to consult with your doctor.

  1. Ogorek CP, Davidson L, Fisher RS, Krevsky B. Idiopathic gastroparesis is associated with a multiplicity of severe dietary deficiencies. Am J Gastroenterol 1991 Apr;86(4):423-8.

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