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Gastroparesis is a disorder that impairs the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles in your stomach (motility). Muscular muscle contractions typically move food through your digestive tract. However, if you have gastroparesis, your stomach’s motility is reduced or non-existent, preventing your stomach from emptying normally.

Gastroparesis can impair digestion and produce nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It can also have an impact on blood sugar levels and nutrition. Although there is no treatment for gastroparesis, dietary adjustments and medicines can provide some comfort.


The primary cause of gastroparesis is nerve damage that activates your stomach muscles. Less frequently, the muscles themselves are injured. As a result, the muscle contractions that churn food in your stomach and squeeze it out through the bottom are hampered. This causes indigestion and delayed gastric emptying (meal remaining in your stomach for an extended period).

Typically, the cause of gastroparesis is unknown. It can result from diabetes, and some people get it after surgery. Certain drugs, such as opioid pain relievers, some antidepressants, and high blood pressure and allergy treatments, can produce sluggish stomach emptying and symptoms similar to those described above. These drugs may worsen the condition of persons who already have gastroparesis.


Food sits in your stomach for a long time after you consume it if your stomach muscles aren’t working correctly. After eating, you may feel full nearly immediately and for an extended period. You may experience stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting. As a side effect, your stomach may feel bloated or distended (stretched), and you may get acid reflux. Heartburn can occur when stomach acid backwashes into the esophagus.

  • Indigestion is a common gastroparesis symptom
  • Stomach bloating
  • Feeling full rapidly and for an extended period
  • Upper abdominal discomfort
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Regurgitating (spitting up) large amounts of undigested food
  • Appetite loss
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Variations in blood sugar levels
  • Constipation


A healthcare provider will inquire about your symptoms and medical history for gastroparesis diagnosis, including any ailments or treatments that may have caused your gastroparesis. They’ll use imaging tests to examine your stomach to ensure nothing physically obstructs it, which might cause the same symptoms. If no obstruction is found, they will perform gastric motility tests to measure the functioning of your stomach muscles.


Healthcare experts cannot repair the damage that causes gastroparesis, but they can treat it by stimulating muscle contractions in your stomach and encouraging it to empty. Treatments are the first-line treatment, with surgery reserved for people who do not react to or cannot take treatments. Each treatment has potential adverse effects, and no gastroparesis treatment works for everyone.

The therapy goals are as follows:

  • Stimulate your stomach muscles and allow your stomach to empty
  • Ensure that your body receives adequate nutrients and hydration
  • Handle the condition’s symptoms and adverse effects
  • If feasible, manage the cause to keep it from worsening
  • Medications may be part of your treatment approach
  • Nutritional and hydration therapy
  • Surgeries
  • Treatment for the ailment that is causing your gastroparesis

When To See A Doctor

If you experience signs and symptoms of gastroparesis, you should consult your primary care physician first. If your doctor suspects you have gastroparesis, you may be sent to a gastroenterologist (a specialist who specializes in digestive diseases). You may also be directed to a dietician who may assist you in selecting foods that are simpler to digest.


This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about gastroparesis or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.