Gastroparesis

Definition

Gastroparesis is a condition that reduces the ability of the stomach to empty its contents. It does not involve a blockage (obstruction).

Causes

The exact cause of gastroparesis is unknown. It may be caused by a disruption of nerve signals to the stomach. The condition is a common complication of diabetes. It can also follow some surgeries.

Risk factors for gastroparesis include:

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Exams and Tests

Tests you may need include:

Treatment

People with diabetes should always control their blood sugar levels. Better control of blood sugar level may improve symptoms of gastroparesis. Eating small and more frequent meals and soft foods may also help relieve some symptoms.

Medicines that may help include:

Other treatments may include:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Many treatments seem to provide only temporary benefit.

Possible Complications

Ongoing nausea and vomiting may cause:

People with diabetes may have serious complications from poor blood sugar control.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Changes in your diet may help control symptoms. Call your health care provider if symptoms continue or if you have new symptoms.


Review Date: 10/24/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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