By peg50 Latest Reply 2013-07-06 14:27:45 -0500
Started 2013-07-05 08:09:33 -0500

Hi everyone. I went to a gastroenterologist because I have been having symptoms of GERD: bloating, feeling full, nausea. . . I went for an endoscopy and the doctor told me all he saw was food. He wants me to go for a gastric emptying study to rule out gastroparesis. I am a little anxious about this, and I was wondering if anyone who has had this done would share their experience. Are there any alternative tests that would determine what is causing my symptoms.

Thank you

2 replies

Ebony Faith
Ebony Faith 2013-07-05 22:19:31 -0500 Report

Hi Peg,

I have what my doctor calls "award winning" gastroparesis due to an extensive abdominal surgery. Gastric emptying studies aren't too bad. You eat scrambled eggs that contain a very small amount of a radioactive element. Then you either lay there for 2 hours while they take constant photos or they take an image every 15 minutes for 2 hours. Then you're done.

A normal stomach empties in about 90 minutes. At one point, my delay was somewhere between 8 and 24 hours. I have a gastric pacemaker which greatly improves my nausea. I also take miralax every day. My GI specializes in gastroparesis and she thinks if you keep the intestines moving, it helps the stomach empty more efficiently. I also invested in an adjustable bed. Sleeping with my head elevated really helps. I eat very small meals 5 times a day, rarely eat red meat, beans or fibrous vegetables, wheat and totally avoid soy. I do a lot of homemade protein shakes, vegetable soups, yogurt. I also take digestive enzymes.

As far as other tests… My naturopath said you can gauge how long it takes for food to pass through your system by eating a big serving of beets. You'll see a distinct color change in your stool when they pass through.

Please feel free to message me with other questions and I'll do my best to answer.

peg50 2013-07-06 14:27:45 -0500 Report

Thank you very much for your response and excellent advice. I am doing some of the things you are now and it seems to be making a difference. The nuclear dept where I go for all of my tests said it is a 5 hour test, but I didn't tell her I was a diabetic at that point. I am hoping it won't be that long. I guess I was feeling like, oh no another test, but that's the way it goes. I thought about making minor changes in my diet first, but I think I am just going to go for the gastric emptying study. Thanks again. I really do appreciate your feedback.