Gastroparesis | Complications

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What are the complications of gastroparesis?

  • Weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration. If you’re not able to eat enough food, or if you vomit up a lot of what you eat, you may not get enough nutrition. Following the suggestions listed above may help with this problem.
  • Bezoars. A bezoar (say: “bee-zore”) is a solid mass of food that your stomach is not able to digest. Bezoars can cause nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, they may block other food from entering the small intestine. This situation can be life-threatening, and the bezoar may have to be removed by surgery.
  • Bacterial infections. When food stays too long in your stomach, bacteria can grow out of control, which can lead to infection.
  • Problems controlling blood sugar. When you have gastroparesis, your timing for digesting food doesn’t follow normal patterns. For this reason, people who have diabetes and gastroparesis often have a lot of trouble controlling their blood sugar levels.

Source

Gastrointestinal Complications of Diabetes by Amer Shakil, MD, Robert J. Church, MD, and Shobha S. Rao, MD (American Family Physician June 15, 2008, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20080615/1697.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 10/09

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