Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, causes food to leave the stomach much slower than normal, or not at all. The board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists with Norton Children’s Gastroenterology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the experience to treat children and teens with gastroparesis.

What Is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscles in the stomach do not work as they should, causing food to empty from the stomach slowly, or not at all. Children with gastroparesis may constantly feel full, vomit undigested food and experience pain. Treatment can help children control symptoms.

What Causes Gastroparesis?

The word gastroparesis means “paralysis of the stomach.” However, the stomach is not paralyzed in the condition. It is a neuromuscular disorder (a muscle and sensory issue) that has no known cause.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis in Children

Each child may experience symptoms of gastroparesis differently, but symptoms can include:

  • Feeling full after eating very little food (unable to finish meals; eats only a few bites of food)
  • Bloated abdomen that feels and looks distended and tight after eating
  • Pain or burning in the abdomen, the lower part of the breastbone and navel
  • Nausea: Feeling queasy or the urge to vomit soon after eating
  • Indigestion: Feeling bloated or a burning sensation after eating
  • Episodes of vomiting
  • Difficulty feeding in infants and young children
  • Weight loss

Gastroparesis can occur with other chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Functional dyspepsia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Cyclical vomiting

Gastroparesis Treatment

The board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists with Norton Children’s Gastroenterology will work with you and your child to develop a unique care plan that may include dietary therapy, medicines to increase gastric emptying as well as medicines that can help reduce nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating.

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