Gastroparesis is a poorly understood disorder that disrupts the natural spontaneous movement (motility) of the stomach’s muscles. Strong muscle contractions normally drive food through the digestive tract. Patients with gastroparesis, however, have stomach’s with sluggish or non-existent motility preventing normal emptying of the stomach.
Typically, the cause of gastroparesis is unknown. Occasionally, it is a complication of diabetes, and some people get it after undergoing surgery. Certain drugs, including opioid pain relievers, some antidepressants, and treatments for high blood pressure and allergies, can produce sluggish stomach emptying and comparable symptoms. These drugs may worsen gastroparesis in those who already have the illness.
Gastroparesis can impede regular digestion and lead to nausea, vomiting, weight loss, bloating, regurgitation, severe reflux and abdominal pain.