Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors of Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is the inability of the stomach to empty properly. Because of this, food stays in the stomach for an abnormally long time. This can lead to complications such as fermentation and bacterial growth, and food that hardens into a type of stone called a bezoar. A bezoar can obstruct the opening that allows food to pass into the small intestine. Gastroparesis is not curable as of 2019 but can be treated.

Information. Gastroparesis is an uncommon condition, and there are less than 200,000 cases a year in the United States. Besides the problems stated above, it can have consequences for people with diabetes because the delay of food entering the small intestine interferes with blood sugar levels. The person can also become dehydrated and malnourished as the nutrients from food trapped in the stomach can’t be utilized by the body. The condition overwhelmingly strikes young and middle aged women, though men and children are also susceptible. There are many tests that can diagnose gastroparesis, including the noninvasive radiographic gastric emptying test. The patient eats some food that contains a radioisotope and is scanned over time to see how quickly it leaves their stomach.