Management of gastroparesis-associated malnutrition

J Dig Dis. 2016 May;17(5):285-94. doi: 10.1111/1751-2980.12344.


Gastroparesis (GP) is a chronic debilitating dysmotility characterized by unrelenting nausea, vomiting, bloating, early satiety, postprandial fullness and abdominal pain. Patients with GP experience other associated conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric bezoars and small bowel bacterial overgrowth. Furthermore, GP is associated with poor quality of life, increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations and subsequent increased healthcare costs. Currently, the managements of GP consist of glycemic control, antiemetics, prokinetics and the use of gastric electrical stimulation. However, most GP patients are at risk for significant nutritional abnormalities. As such, it is essential to screen and diagnose malnutrition in these patients. Poor oral intake in such patients could be supplemented by enteral tube feeding. Parenteral nutrition, although a last resort, is associated with a number of complications and should be used only for the short term. In summary, a systematic approach including initial nutritional screening, diet recommendations, medical therapy, nutritional re-evaluation and enteral and parental nutrition should be considered in complex GP patients.

Keywords: enteral nutrition; gastroparesis; malnutrition; parenteral nutrition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management*
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gastroparesis / complications
  • Gastroparesis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Malnutrition / diagnosis
  • Malnutrition / etiology
  • Malnutrition / therapy*
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Support / methods*
  • Quality of Life


  • Gastrointestinal Agents