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Stomach emptying slowly in the last few months

Pancreatic cancer sometimes affects the nerves and hormones that control the stomach. If this happens, food passes through the stomach more slowly. This is called delayed gastric emptying or gastroparesis. Other possible causes of the stomach emptying slowly include abdominal surgery and diabetes.

Symptoms that your stomach is emptying slowly include:

  • feeling and being sick
  • bloating
  • feeling full quickly.

What can help?

Other things can cause similar symptoms, so your doctor or nurse will work out what is causing your symptoms, and the best treatment for you. They may give you medicines to help improve your symptoms, such as anti-sickness drugs including metoclopramide and domperidone.

Sometimes it may be possible to drain your stomach using a nasogastric tube or occasionally a venting gastrostomy tube. These may not be suitable for everyone, and may not be used that often.

You can help to manage your symptoms by eating small meals that are high in calories (energy) and easy to digest – speak to your dietitian about this. Drink small amounts of fluid regularly throughout the day and try to sit up after eating. If you feel up to it, try to move around after meals.

Read more about other symptoms:

Information Standard

Published March 2018

Review date March 2020

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