Overview of Symptoms for Gastroparesis

Chronic symptoms that are characteristic of gastroparesis include:

  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Retching (dry heaves)
  • Stomach fullness after a normal sized meal
  • Early fullness (satiety) – the inability to finish a meal

Other Symptoms that People Experience

Bloating, as well as stomach discomfort or pain, is also noted by some persons with gastroparesis, particularly as symptoms become more severe.

Weight loss may occur due to decreased appetite.

If symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), like heartburn or regurgitation, do not respond to treatment a gastric emptying test may be done to check for delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis).

Heartburn may occur as a result of reflux due to delayed stomach emptying.

Symptoms of gastroparesis can impair quality of life and well-being. The severity of gastroparesis ranges from being uncomfortable to debilitating and in some cases life-threatening.

The symptoms of gastroparesis may often differ among persons with the condition. Symptoms usually occur during and after eating a meal.

Of note, the severity of symptoms in a person with gastroparesis does not necessarily tie together with how quickly the stomach empties.

The Most Troubling Gastroparesis Symptoms Reported by Patients

Respondents (1,423 adults) in the 2016 Gastroparesis in the Community Research Survey when asked to identify the most troubling symptoms when their gastroparesis became severe, reported the following:

  • 51% Nausea
  • 46% Stomach pain
  • 30% Vomiting
  • 25% Bloating
  • 15% Stomach discomfort

Adapted from IFFGD Publication: Gastroparesis (Delayed Stomach Emptying) by Presented by J. Patrick Waring MD., Digestive Healthcare of Georgia, Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, GA and William F. Norton, Publications Editor,International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), Milwaukee, WI

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

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