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Stomach Emptying Test?

Hi, Brian:

I just had this test last month. It was easy. They will feed you a meal of 2 scrambled eggs, 1 piece of toast with jam, and water. (Eating this was the hardest part for me, as I *hate* eggs, and it was a LOT!) Then they take a few pictures (not X-rays--pics from a camera that can detect the radiotracer in the eggs) every hour until the eggs are 90% digested. I was there for 3 hours. Lots of reading/computer time :).

Now, it was easy for me, but I suspect for a person with gastroparesis it may be harder to eat all that food at once. I hope it goes well for you.
Don't mind at all . . . I had normal stomach emptying, actually on the rapid side. No gastroparesis. My symptoms are different from yours, though. I have Crohn's too, but I always feel fine. I have bowel obstructions all the time, though, even though I don't have any strictures or inflammation right now. So my doctor wanted to look into motility issues. This test obviously brought us no closer to an answer :(. I hope it leads to a treatment path for you, though.
Anytime, Brian. Good luck to you. At least this test requires no IVs, needles, bowel prep, or ng tubes! It's really not a bad one at all :).
my gi keeps asking me about this test cause he suspects gastroparesis but i am scared of it cause i have had some bad experiences with barium. i also don't see a point since I am already on gp meds. let me know how it is. maybe it will help my nerves.
Is this pretty much the same as the barium xray to show how fast things go through or is it very different? My sons main issue is vomiting either while hes eating or after. cant seem to figure out why
Hi Mreyn, the gastric emptying study mimics real life, so you get an idea how long the stomach takes to empty with a normal meal - if it is slow to empty, potentially gastroparesis, then that would account for nausea and vomiting, which can sometimes be improved with promotility agents.

A barium meal on the other hand is really looking for obstruction where the stomach empties or in the proximal small bowel (entire small bowel if you do barium meal and small bowel follow through). The reason a barium meal isn't a good test to look for gastroparesis is that a liquid test can empty from the stomach, even in someone with gastroparesis unlike solid food.

With your son, without any background, might be worth looking at a gastric emptying test to exclude gastroparesis and then an MR enterography (no radiation exposure unlike small bowel series) to ensure there are no structural causes (ie. Partial stricture) driving his symptoms.

Best wishes.
Mreyn, do you mean treatment for gastroparesis? If that is what your son has, first exclude mechanical obstruction, next look at what might be causing the gastroparesis and try to improve it (ie. Better diabetic control - usually won't fix it, but might stop it getting worse). Next, gastroparesis tends to have periods when it is worse than others. During a bad period, I would suggest avoiding solid food and stick with liquid food, much easier to tolerate. Also, there are medications that improve gastric emptying, mild ones like motilium and maxolon, and then stronger ones like erythromycin (only need small doses, ie. 50mg or so), takes these around 30 mins before meals.