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Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a condition that affects the normal spontaneous movement of the muscles (motility) in your stomach. Ordinarily, strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But if you have gastroparesis, your stomach’s motility is slowed down or doesn’t work at all, preventing your stomach from emptying properly.

Gastroparesis can interfere with normal digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and cause problems with blood sugar levels and nutrition. The cause of gastroparesis is usually unknown. Sometimes it’s a complication of diabetes, and some people develop gastroparesis after surgery. Although there’s no cure for gastroparesis, changes to your diet, along with medication, can offer some relief.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of gastroparesis include:

Many people with gastroparesis don’t have any noticeable signs and symptoms.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you.

Causes

It’s not always clear what leads to gastroparesis. But in many cases, gastroparesis is believed to be caused by damage to a nerve that controls the stomach muscles (vagus nerve).

The vagus nerve helps manage the complex processes in your digestive tract, including signaling the muscles in your stomach to contract and push food into the small intestine. A damaged vagus nerve can’t send signals normally to your stomach muscles. This may cause food to remain in your stomach longer, rather than move normally into your small intestine to be digested.

The vagus nerve can be damaged by diseases, such as diabetes, or by surgery to the stomach or small intestine.

Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of gastroparesis:

Women are more likely to develop gastroparesis than are men.

Complications

Gastroparesis can cause several complications, such as:

For further information, please see: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gastroparesis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355787

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