What Is Gastroparesis?

female student working on a laptop(BlackDoctor.org) — Gastroparesis is a diabetes-related condition where the stomach cannot empty itself of food in a normal fashion. Most often, gastroparesis occurs in people with type 1 diabetes; however, it can also occur in those with type 2 diabetes. Most sufferers have had diabetes for at least 10 years and have other complications of diabetes.

What causes gastroparesis in diabetes?

Gastroparesis is caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which regulates the digestive system and makes muscles function. Diabetes is a leading cause of gastroparesis, accounting for about one-third of cases. Damage to the vagus nerve keeps the muscles of the stomach and intestine from functioning properly. In gastroparesis, food remains in your stomach because it is not processed and pumped through the intestines.

Other causes of gastroparesis include:

• Viral infections
• Abdominal surgery with injury to the vagus nerve
• Medications such as narcotics and some antidepressants
• Amyloidosis (deposits of protein fibers in tissues and organs) and scleroderma (a connective tissue disorder that affects the skin, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, and internal organs)