Gastroparesis, Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction and Colonic Inertia impact the lives of approximately 1 in 25 Americans. These conditions are serious and can be life-threatening, yet they receive little attention and minimal funding.
Recently, our organization lost several people to these conditions as the result of complications related to a transplant, poor nutrition, or poor blood glucose control. These conditions are not very well understood and not recognized by many doctors. This leads to the belief that patients are making everything up or it’s all in their heads. Lack of awareness has resulted in the deterioration of many patients due to the long- term impact of misdiagnosis, misunderstanding, or being treated improperly for a different condition.
In addition, the conditions have been largely ignored by the FDA. There are limited medications available, and those focus more on symptom control rather than treating the underlying condition by helping the GI tract digest food. Therefore, they are not very effective. Drugs that have shown to be overwhelmingly safe and effective in the majority of those who take them have either been pulled from the market or not approved for use in the US. Most of them are approved by other countries with standards comparable to those of the US.
Patients suffer from the debilitating effects of chronic nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, malnutrition, dehydration, and weight loss. Many cannot eat a bite of food or take a sip of fluid without getting sick. Some patients are disabled and completely homebound, relying on artificial nutrition in order to stay alive.