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Do You Feel Full After Eating Small Meals? It May Be A Sign Of Gastroparesis

You may be suffering from gastroparesis if you experience bloating, heartburn, or nausea. Read on to know more about this condition.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: May 19, 2023 13:14 IST
Do You Feel Full After Eating Small Meals? It May Be A Sign Of Gastroparesis

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Do you feel full immediately even after eating a small meal? Do you feel like vomiting, heartburn, and bloating? This may be due to a condition called gastroparesis. It affects your stomach nerves and muscles and is often found in people with diabetes. Although there is no cure for this condition, there are many ways to manage it. Dr Adi Rakesh Kumar, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Therapeutic Endoscopist and Endosonologist, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, explained gastroparesis, its causes, symptoms, and tips to manage it. 

What Is Gastroparesis?

Dr Kumar explained that gastroparesis is a condition that affects the normal movement of the muscles in the stomach, resulting in delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine. This delay in gastric emptying can lead to various symptoms and requires management, which often includes dietary and lifestyle modifications. 

Symptoms Of Gastroparesis

Nausea and vomiting: These are common symptoms and may occur shortly after eating or be persistent.

Feeling full quickly: You may experience early satiety, even after consuming a small meal. 

Abdominal bloating: The abdomen may feel distended or bloated due to delayed gastric emptying. 

Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux: Gastroparesis can contribute to the backward flow of stomach acid into the oesophagus causing heartburn. 

Lack of appetite and weight loss: Due to the discomfort associated with eating and the reduced ability to tolerate food, unintended weight loss can occur. 

Also Read: Stomach Cancer And Diet: Expert Explains Food Habits That Can Increase Its Risk

Causes Of Gastroparesis

There is no specific cause for gastroparesis, but it is assumed to be caused by the disruption of stomach nerve signals. 


One of the most common causes of gastroparesis is long-term diabetes, especially when it damages the nerves controlling the stomach muscles. 


Some surgical procedures, such as stomach or oesophageal surgery can cause damage to the vagus nerve leading to gastroparesis. 


Certain medications, including opioids, some antidepressants, and certain medications used to treat diabetes can contribute to delayed gastric emptying. 

Neurological Conditions

Conditions like Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke can affect the nerves that control the stomach muscles. 

In some cases, the cause of gastroparesis may remain unknown, which is referred to as idiopathic gastroparesis. 

Management of Gastroparesis

Here are some measures to manage gastroparesis listed by Dr Kumar:

Dietary Modifications

You should bring changes to your eating habits, such as consuming smaller and more frequent meals instead of large meals. You should consume foods that are low in fat and fibre as they are easier to digest. In some cases, a liquid or pureed diet may also be recommended.

Blood Sugar Management

If gastroparesis is related to diabetes, it is crucial to maintain good control over blood sugar levels to minimise the symptoms. 

Lifestyle Modifications

Certain lifestyle changes can help alleviate the symptoms. These include eating slowly, chewing food thoroughly, avoiding lying down immediately after eating, and engaging in regular physical activity. 

Nutritional Support

In severe cases where oral intake is inadequate, nutrition may be provided through a feeding tube or intravenously (into or within the vein). 


Medications can be prescribed to help improve stomach emptying and manage symptoms. These may include prokinetic agents that stimulate the stomach muscles or antiemetics to control nausea and vomiting.

Also Read: Make These 5 Lifestyle Changes To Manage Gastroparesis


Gastroparesis can range from moderate to severe, as can the impact on your quality of life. While there is no quick fix, there are numerous therapeutic choices to assist you manage it. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalised management plan. Based on your personal needs and medical history, they can make customised recommendations.