What Is Gastroparesis?


Gastroparesis, also known as gastric stasis or delayed gastric emptying, is a condition in which the stomach takes longer than normal to empty its contents. Under normal circumstances, strong muscle contractions move food through the digestive tract. With gastroparesis, damaged nerves and muscles cause these contractions to slow and weaken. Large masses of food can form in the stomach, which can cause digestive symptoms and even prevent food from entering the small intestine.

What are the symptoms of gastroparesis?

The symptoms of gastroparesis include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating or pain
  • Feeling full quickly when eating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble controlling blood sugar

What causes gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis involves damage to the vagus nerve, which controls the stomach muscles. This can occur due to various health conditions, or in some cases, the cause of the damage is unknown. Other possible causes of gastroparesis include taking sedatives or narcotic pain medications.

What are the risk factors for developing gastroparesis?

Women are more likely to develop gastroparesis than men. Health conditions that increase the risk of developing gastroparesis include the following:

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