Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach fails to empty in a normal amount of time.

What is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a condition in which the stomach fails to empty in a normal amount of time. This delayed emptying can cause pain, bloating, and an inability to eat and drink the correct amounts needed to be properly nourished and hydrated.    

The exact cause of gastroparesis is unknown, but it is commonly diagnosed in diabetics. Unfortunately, gastroparesis is normally permanent in diabetic patients. It can also occur after food poisoning. When caused by food poisoning, gastroparesis can clear up on its own, although it is known to become permanent in some cases. Patients with neither risk factor can also develop the condition, although this is less common.

What are the symptoms of gastroparesis?

Feeling full too soon after beginning to eat is often the first symptom of gastroparesis. Other symptoms can include belly pain, nausea or vomiting, bloating and weight loss. If you are experiencing ongoing symptoms, it is important to see your GI Associates physician. As with other GI conditions, many symptoms are shared by many conditions and it is necessary to have an accurate diagnosis in order to be treated effectively.

In order to be treated effectively, your doctor will need a detailed medical history. It is important to discuss all of your symptoms and any other medical conditions that could contribute to the problem. There are several tests that can be used to diagnose gastroparesis, including endoscopy and CT scans.

How is gastroparesis treated?

There are several approaches to treating both the symptoms and consequences of gastroparesis. Treatment includes liquid nutrition supplements and meal replacements that help to maintain nutrition and hydration. There are also medications that can make the stomach empty faster and others that can help prevent nausea. Other treatments for the condition depend on each patient’s condition and will be discussed as needed.

It is also recommended to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and reducing both high fat and high fiber foods. Avoiding soda or other carbonated beverages can help decrease bloating. It is also beneficial to avoid alcohol and smoking.

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