Risk Factors:For most people, doctors can’t determine what brought on gastroparesis. It tends to affect women more than men.Diabetes is the most common known cause of gastroparesis. It can damage nerves — including the vagus nerve, which regulates your digestive system — and certain cells in your stomach.Other causes of gastroparesis include:

Gastroparesis Complications include:

  • When you can’t keep fluids down, and you can become dehydrated
  • If your body can’t get the nutrients it needs, you may become malnourished.
  • If food stays in your stomach too long and ferments, which can lead to the growth of bacteria
  • When food hardens into a solid lump called a bezoar. This can block food from passing into your small intestine.
  • If you have diabetes. Your blood sugar levels may rise when food finally leaves your stomach and enters your small intestine. Gastroparesis makes it harder to control your blood sugar.

Making the Gastroparesis Diagnosis:

Dr. Fine will ask about your symptoms, medical history and also do a physical exam. He may order tests including:

  • Blood tests. These can spot dehydration, malnutrition, infection, or blood sugar problems.
  • Barium X-ray. You’ll drink a liquid (barium), which coats your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine and shows up on an X-ray. This is also known as an upper GI (gastrointestinal) series or a barium swallow.
  • Radioisotope gastric-emptying scan (gastric scintigraphy). Your doctor will give you food that contains a very small amount of something radioactive. Then, you lie under a scanning machine. If more than 10% of food is still in your stomach 4 hours after eating, you have gastroparesis.
  • Gastric emptying breath tests (13C-GEBTs). This is a non-radioactive test that measures how fast your stomach empties after you eat a meal that has a chemical element called the 13C isotope added to it.
  • Gastric manometry. Your doctor passes a thin tube through your mouth and into your stomach to check electrical and muscular activity, and to figure out how fast you’re digesting.
  • Electrogastrography. This measures electrical activity in your stomach using electrodes on your skin.
  • The smart pill. You swallow a tiny electronic device that sends information about how fast it’s traveling as it moves through your digestive system.
  • Ultrasound. This imaging test uses sound waves to create pictures of your organs. Your doctor may use it to rule out other diseases.
  • Upper endoscopy. Your doctor passes a thin tube called an endoscope down your esophagus to look at the lining of your stomach.