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Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty after eating. The delay is caused by damage to the stomach nerves and results in bloating, heartburn, and possibly serious symptoms because digestion is altered.

Diabetes is the most common cause of gastroparesis. Other causes include some disorders of the nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease and stroke, and some medicines, such as tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and narcotics.

The most common symptoms of gastroparesis are:

  • A feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Food coming back up your throat, without nausea or vomiting.

Symptoms range from mild to severe. Severe symptoms of gastroparesis may improve with treatment using medicines that help with nausea and vomiting (antiemetics) and medicines that help the stomach empty more quickly (motility agents). In very severe cases, a feeding tube placed in the small intestine may be needed.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Current as of July 19, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 19, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.