What is Gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis is a condition of delayed gastric emptying in the absence of mechanical obstruction. It occurs more frequently in individuals with diabetes, but also is observed in patients with prior gastric surgery, a preceding infectious illness, pseudo-obstruction, collagen vascular disorders and anorexia nervosa. According to the American Motility Society Task Force on Gastroparesis, the prevalence is as high as 4% to 6% of the United States population. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating and early satiety. The disorder can cause considerable pain and discomfort and can lead to poor nutrition, impaired glycemic control and diminished quality of life. According to a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, it is estimated that hospitalization costs associated with gastroparesis exceed $3.5 billion annually.