Why does gastroparesis cause weight loss

About gastroparesis

The most common symptoms of gastroparesis - chronic nausea and vomiting - can make everyday life challenging.


Gastroparesis is a stomach disease in which food is digested more slowly than normal. In a healthy digestive system, powerful muscle contractions move the food pulp from the stomach through the intestinal tract. In gastroparesis, however, the muscles work poorly (or not at all), which prevents the stomach from emptying sufficiently. In some people, this causes severe nausea and vomiting that cannot be satisfactorily controlled with standard medications.


Gastroparesis has several different causes, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In many cases, however, the cause is unknown (idiopathic).


Typical symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • Stomach gas
  • stomach pain
  • Feeling of fullness after ingesting little food
  • Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Changes in blood sugar levels
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme weight loss

Effects of gastroparesis

Gastroparesis can have devastating effects on physical wellbeing. This can lead to chronic nausea and vomiting, as well as malnutrition and abnormal blood sugar levels. Living with gastroparesis also affects your emotional well-being - the ongoing adversity of chronic nausea and vomiting can negatively impact professional and academic performance, family and personal relationships, and social activities.


The diagnosis is based on a complete medical history, physical exam, and tests such as:

  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • Gastric emptying test (GET)
  • Gastroduodenal manometry
  • Electrogastrography (EGG)

Ask your doctor about any other medical conditions or medications that may be responsible for gastroparesis-like symptoms.

The information on this page is not a substitute for a personal consultation with your doctor. Always talk to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment.