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Gastroparesis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Gastroparesis

is a condition that causes food to move more slowly than normal from the stomach to the intestines. Gastroparesis is not caused by blockage. Often, the cause may not be known. It may be caused by damage to a nerve that controls muscles used to move food to your small intestines.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling full sooner than normal or after eating less than usual
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Weight loss or poor nutrition
  • Frequent changes in blood sugar

You or someone else should call 911 if:

  • Your heart is beating faster and you are breathing faster than usual.
  • You cannot be woken up.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You are confused or have trouble thinking clearly.
  • You are dizzy or very drowsy.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You are urinating less than usual.
  • Your symptoms return or become worse.
  • The color of your urine is dark yellow.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for gastroparesis

may include medicine to control your nausea and vomiting or to help food move through your stomach. You may need nutritional support. Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) may be done when symptoms cannot be controlled by other treatments. Surgery may be needed to place a feeding tube into your small intestines if other treatments do not work.

Manage gastroparesis:

Your healthcare provider may suggest any of the following:

  • Change your eating habits. Take small bites of food to make it easier for your body to digest. You may need to eat several small meals low in fiber and fat throughout the day. Ask your dietitian for help with planning your meals.
  • Do not eat raw fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. These can cause you to have undigested food in your stomach. The undigested food can form a blockage that can become life-threatening.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Liquids will prevent dehydration caused by vomiting. Slowly drink small amounts of liquids at a time. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day, and which liquids are best for you. You may also need to drink an oral rehydration solution (ORS). An ORS has the right amounts of sugar, salt, and minerals in water to replace body fluids.
  • Do not lie down for 2 hours after your meals. Walking and sitting after meals help with digestion.
  • Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. High blood sugar levels may make your symptoms worse. Ask your healthcare provider how to control your blood sugar levels.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need tests to check if treatment is working. You may need to see a dietitian for help with a nutrition plan. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Gastroparesis (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes

Mayo Clinic Reference

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