Gastroparesis is a condition that occurs when the stomach takes too long to empty food. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, obstructions in the small intestine, bloating, and loss of appetite, to name a few.
While the exact cause isn’t known, it is believed that disrupted nerve signals in the stomach might be the culprit. One common cause of damage that affects digestion is diabetes that isn’t well controlled. In addition, surgeries that involve the stomach or other digestive organs can also change signals to the stomach.
Tests to determine the condition, which can range from mild to severe, include blood tests, upper endoscopy, gastric emptying scintigraphy, and the SmartPill (a capsule that contains a device to track how fast food moves through your digestive tract).
Treatment of gastroparesis includes controlling underlying conditions (such as diabetes), medications, diet changes, and in some cases, surgery.