What are the complications of Gastroparesis?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 18, 2013

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Quick Bites

  • It is a condition in which the stomach muscles stop functioning properly.
  • The common symptoms are heartburn and pain in the upper abdomen.
  • It can often lead to problems with blood sugar levels.
  • It can cause bacterial overgrowth from the fermentation of food.

Gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscles of the stomach stop functioning properly. The contraction of strong muscles makes the food propel through the digestive tract. In the condition, the muscles in the wall of the stomach do not function properly or do not function at all which keep the stomach from emptying completely.


gastroparesis complications



The symptoms associated with gastroparesis are heartburn, pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, early feeling of fullness, weight loss (due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake), bloating and gastroesophageal reflux.

The symptoms of gastroparesis may be mild or severe, depending on the person. Symptoms can happen frequently in some people and less often in others. Many people with gastroparesis experience a wide range of symptoms, and sometimes the disorder is difficult for the physician to diagnose.



Change in blood sugar levels – Gastroparesis is a condition that can interfere with the digestion causing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. The digestion problems can often lead to problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition. Eating solid foods, high-fibre foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, fatty foods, or drinks high in fat or carbonation may contribute to these symptoms.


Bezoars formation – If food lingers too long in the stomach, it can cause bacterial overgrowth from the fermentation of food. Also, the food can harden into solid masses called bezoars that may cause nausea, vomiting, and obstruction in the stomach. Bezoars can be dangerous if they block the passage of food into the small intestine.


For diabetics – Gastroparesis can make diabetes worse by making blood glucose control more difficult. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise. Since gastroparesis makes stomach emptying unpredictable, a person’s blood glucose levels can be erratic and difficult to control.

(Image source:Gettyimages)

Read more articles on Gastroparesis.



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