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Another eating question- how long does it take for food to digest

Josie60's picture
Josie60
Posts: 81
Joined: Jul 2012

I was curious if it takes longer for food to digest now that I had a total esphogetomy. I'm 12 weeks out from THE surgery. does refashioning the stomach into a gastric tube slow down the digestion process?

For example this morning I had my "normal" coughing fit to clear air and mucus, eventually I vomited up the tuna and noodles that I had eaten around 6pm last night.. I have noticed this has happened a few times since I transitioned from a feeding tube to normal foods in the last 2 weeks.

I'm still struggling with gaining my appetite back and eating more than a half cup of food at one time.

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2010

Josie,

I would say to still have something you have eaten in your stomaphagus, (the modified stomach that now takes the place of the esophagus that we used to have), 8 to 10 hours after you have eaten it is not "typical". In my case; normally what I have eaten the for supper passes completely though my digestive system by the next morning.

Sometimes people who have a stomaphagus that is slow to move food into the small intestine (where most of our digestion occurs) can be helped with erythromycin or treating the pyloric sphincter, (the valve at the bottom of the stomach) with some medications to enhance opening.

One has to be careful because you don't want to cause chronic dumping syndrome but your gastroenterologist should be able to do some testing to determine if you have slow gastric emptying or pyloric stenosis.

If your doctor brings up the medication Reglan be sure to come back here to get input on side effects. Numerous survivors here have had negative side effects (e.g. depression) from taking Reglan.

If this continues I would investigate it with your doctor.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

My good lord. Reglan is what they are giving don. What are the side effects?? I will look it up. Depression? This whole past 10 days has been depressing but so far Don has said no to any anxiety meds.

Judy

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2010

Judy,

I don't mean to be an alarmist. You certainly have enough to be anxious about at this time. I am sure many people take Reglan with no issues, otherwise it would not be approved for treatment of gastroparesis. However, a number of people on this and other EC forums have reported having some issues with depression so if you see some indications of anxiety or depression Reglan should be considered.

Like most people here on the forum, I will be happy when Don is discharged from the hospital he is in, and in Ann Arbor. Don is lucky to have you as an advocate.

Don't forget to take care of Judy....

If there is anything I can do, I am just up the road a ways.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams,
Grand Blanc, Michigan

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

Judy,

It's Reglan that my sister was on and found herself unable to drive. She would have panic attacks if she got too far from home. A 70 mile trip to the mall was usually good fun for her and the kids. When on Reglan, that trip was too much to attempt. When she did try it, it took at least 5 pull overs to regain composure to continue the drive home.

Once off Reglan, she returned to normal. Reglan was prescribed for her because her stomach empties too slowly.

The effects aren't the same for everyone. But do keep at watchful eye, just in case Don is one of the those that does have side effects.

Much Love & many, many Hugs! FEC!

Terry
PROUD wife to Nick, age 49
lost battle to FEC, 06/19/12

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

HI Terry & Paul

You can be sure that I am watching him for any little thing at this point. And from now on I will get the full scoop on any drug they want to give him before they give it to him. We always get a drug information sheet from the pharmacy and I am going to ask for them here also.

As far as depression, I am amazed at Don's strength and only this morning did he really express any frustration and that was over not being able to cough the junk up as fast as he would like. Don is a quiet man and rarely fusses over anything. I ask him about it and so has the doctor but apparently so far he is holding up well.

Thank you for your help and Terry now I remember that conversation and with you and Paul reminding me of this I will be extra alert.

Love and FEC
Judy

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Sorry. This IPad must be on steroids

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Triple post. Dude.

Josie60's picture
Josie60
Posts: 81
Joined: Jul 2012

I had an appointment with my surgeon at U of Iowa hospitals and Clinics today for another throat dilation. We discussed the problem of the food not always passing from the stomach to the small intestine. He said to give it another week and if I was still seeing signicant issues that he would probably order a barium swallow test (yuck) to see if the lower stomach might need to be stretched.

My stomach took quite a beating this summer. The chemo and radiation in March-May was rough and I had a nasal feeding tube for 3weeks. After surgery in June, because the stomach was fragil,I was strictly on a jtube nutrition for almost 9 weeks.

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