The rate of gastric emptying is a critical determinant of postprandial glycaemia and, accordingly, is fundamental to maintaining blood glucose homeostasis. Disordered gastric emptying occurs frequently in patients with longstanding type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A complex bidirectional relationship exists between gastric emptying and glycaemia--gastric emptying accounts for ∼35% of the variance in peak postprandial blood glucose concentrations in healthy individuals and in patients with diabetes mellitus, and the rate of emptying is itself modulated by acute changes in glycaemia. Clinical implementation of incretin-based therapies for the management of T2DM, which diminish postprandial glycaemia, in part by slowing gastric emptying, is widespread. Other therapies for patients with T2DM, which specifically target gastric emptying include pramlintide and dietary-based treatment approaches. A weak association exists between upper gastrointestinal symptoms and the rate of gastric emptying. In patients with severe diabetic gastroparesis, pathological changes are highly variable and are characterized by loss of interstitial cells of Cajal and an immune infiltrate. Management options for patients with symptomatic gastroparesis remain limited in their efficacy, which probably reflects the heterogeneous nature of the underlying pathophysiology.