Gastroparesis is a condition in which your stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion. It is caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which regulates the digestive system. A damaged vagus nerve prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning, preventing food from moving through the digestive system properly. Often, the cause of gastroparesis is unknown.
There are many symptoms of gastroparesis, including: heartburn, nausea, vomiting undigested food, bloating, feeling full quickly when eating, poor appetite and weight loss, and poor blood sugar control.
Some of the complications of gastroparesis include: Food that stays in the stomach too long can ferment, which can lead to the growth of bacteria. Food in the stomach can harden into a solid collection, called a bezoar. Bezoars can cause obstructions in the stomach that keep food from passing into the small intestine. People who have both diabetes and gastroparesis may have more difficulty because blood sugar levels rise when food finally leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine, making blood sugar control more of a challenge.
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