Diagnosing gastroparesis

To diagnose gastroparesis, your GP will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and may arrange some blood tests .

You may be referred to hospital for some of the following tests:

  • barium X-ray where you swallow a liquid containing the chemical barium, which shows up on X-ray and highlights its passage through your digestive system
  • gastric emptying scan using scintigraphy you eat food (often eggs) containing a very small amount of a radioactive substance that is detected on the scan; gastroparesis is diagnosed if more than 10% of the food is still in your stomach four hours after eating
  • wireless capsule test you swallow a small, electronic device that sends information about how fast it moves through your digestive tract to a recording device
  • endoscopy a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) is passed down your throat and into your stomach to examine the stomach lining and rule out other possible causes
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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018