FAQ: Why am I gaining weight with gastroparesis? (Audio Post)

Most people assume that gastroparesis patients lose a lot of weight due to their symptoms. In fact, many doctors still judge the severity of a patient’s digestive distress by the number on the scale. But guess what? It’s simply not always the case. I’ve worked with a number of clients who were struggling with weight gain due to gastroparesis. There are several explanations for why this might happen. Click below to listen to me talk about GP & weight gain or right click and choose “Save Link As…” to download the file.

FAQ:Weight Gain and Gastroparesis


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  1. 1

    Sharon says


    I clicked on the link but never got the “Save Link As” – thus couldn’t open it. I’m very interested in this topic

    Thank you!

  2. 3

    Chris says

    Thanks so much for this podcast Sharon, I kept thinking my GP could not be that severe despite my doctors warnings, since I gain weight despite being on a very restricted diet and walking 2 miles a day. I have been tested for low thyroid several times (I have many symptoms of it) but always get a negative. However I have also been a chronic yo yo dieter sooooo, guessing thats a big culprit in this case.

    Thanks again, glad I found your site!

  3. 5

    Crystal says

    Hi, Chris. Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you found the site, too. The bias against GPers who at — or even above — a “normal” weight really frustrates me. There’s so much more to weight than just calories in, calories out and, in my opinion, it isn’t a very good reflection of the severity of someone’s GP/DTP symptoms. If your thyroid is normal, then your dieting history probably has a great deal to do with it. Do you have a doctor who takes your symptoms seriously and is adequately treating your condition?


  4. 6

    Chris says

    Hi Crystal,

    Yes my doctor took my GP seriously, I just never did because I wasn’t losing weight. Tho my doctor would make comments stating that I seemed to be doing good since I maintained my weight, but he did impress upon me that I should still take my GP seriously. I found out the hard way one morning how seriously I should take it when I woke up very sick, thought I had ta terrible flu, but the “flu” responded almost instantly when I took my Enrythromycin, by the 3rd pill I was cured of that “flu” and felt fine. I have since gone on an almost total liquid diet. However I’m having trouble with that so I’m still trying to work things out :)


  5. 7

    Sharon says

    My daughter sent me this site and I am so glad!. I have had this condition I am sure close to 2 yrs, but my dr would not test me for this because I am overweight. He told me people with this condition are always thin. I had the gastric emptying scan and they could not do the test because even with the reglan my food sat there and did not move (I finally found a GI dr that would listen to me) This is going to be a major lifestyle change for me, so glad I found this site, but as you see you can still be overweight and have severe gastroparesis as I did.

  6. 8

    Crystal says

    Hi, Sharon. I’m so sorry to hear that the first doctor dismissed you due to weight. I am glad that you finally found a doctor who would take you seriously, however. Have you been diagnosed as idiopathic or do they know the cause of the delayed emptying? It is most definitely a lifestyle change. If you haven’t done so, I’d recommend checking out my eBook Eating for Gastroparesis. It’s a really good introduction to the dietary modifications that can help to alleviate symptoms and enhance nutrition. Glad you found us!


  7. 9

    Sharon says

    Already bought the book the first day I read about it on your website. Excellent and answered a lot of questions that I had. Yes, this is going to be a lifestyle change, but I am so glad I found your site. Talked with a NP at the hospital, I am a nurse., she works for a GI group and she told me that they have seen an incredible rise in the last few years of ideopathic gastroparesis being found. Mine has been diagnosed as ideopathic but I am still going to insist my MD recheck my thyroid and my blood sugar (HgAIC) to see if my sugars have been under control for the last few months. Thanks again for the response Sharon

  8. 10


    I am so happy that I found this site. I to have Gastro & I am overweight. One of my main problems is I am a Type 1 diabetic (for 51 ys) & I have to do my blood sugard every 3 hrs. because I never know when my food will be digested. I had the test done (I forgot the name) where you swallow scrambeled eggs & they follow it for 3 hrs. My gastric empting time was, as the said “off the chart”. It turned out to be 11 hrs. Have any of you had a result this long of a time? I haven’t read all the posts yet but I am. Would anyone care to comment on this? Thank you for reading this anyway.

  9. 11

    Sharon says

    Jinks- my gastric emptying scan (the scrambled eggs test) was “off the charts also” After 120 minutes they gave me an injection of Reglan and then it started to move a little. My doctor told me that my food was sitting in my stomach for 2 days! I had nausea, constant heartburn and regurgitation into my throat and mouth all the time. I had about 5 doctors dismiss these symptoms because I was overweight, but finally someone listened and ordered the right test. Since going on a basically liquid diet and taking the reglan, the symptoms have almost vanished and I lost 9 lbs the first the month. I feel so much better and actually eating more healthy as I am juicing things and drinking V8 and fusion drinks and getting my vegetables that way. Good luck to you.

  10. 12

    Debbie says

    Crystal, thank you, thank you, thank you! I was diagnosed
    with GP within the past year and thought, even though the gastric
    emptying tests showed significant delay and all my symptoms pointed
    towards it, I thought that perhaps the doctors were mistaken since
    I’ve maintained my weight for the past few years. Everywhere on the
    net suggests people with GP have trouble maintaining their weight
    and are very underweight. I’m glad to know that this isn’t always
    the case. I am scheduled for surgery for a gastrice neurostimulator
    in March and was having second thoughts. This makes my decision a
    lot easier. I’m now on my way to visit your site.

  11. 13

    Crystal says

    Hi, Debbie! So glad you found the site. It’s an unfortunate misconception that everyone with GP is underweight and I think it prevents some GPers from seeking or being offered adequate care. I hope that the gastric neurostimulator brings you relief!! Warmly, Crystal

  12. 14

    Crystal says

    Hi, Jinks. Welcome; I hope you continue to find helpful information on the site!

    As you might expect, the results of the gastric emptying scan vary greatly from person to person. I’m assuming that they didn’t actually keep you for 11 hours, but extrapolated the emptying time based on the results from the 3 hour scan? That would mean you probably had about 25% emptied at 3 hours, which is certainly a significant delay.

    As far as the weight, because of the erratic blood sugar, coupled with the fact that you’re probably not consuming enough calories, it makes sense. Do you have a doctor who you are comfortable with and is knowledgeable in the treatment of diabetic gastroparesis? Are you comfortable managing your diet and nutrition? If you have questions about diet, you might want to download the Eating for GP eBook for some additional guidance.


  13. 16

    Jennifer Hunter says

    I too have been diagnosed with Gastroparesis approx a year ago. I was also diagnosed with Crohns a few years. Although they caught the Crohns early and since then I have had trouble with losing weight. I (like everyone else) have been trying to do anything and everything to lose the weight but nothing seems to work. My G.I doc just tells me it comes with the disease or diseases. I have never been this heavy and absolutely cant stand it anymore. I’m at my wits end!!
    Please Help!

  14. 17

    Shannon says

    I was diagnosed by my GI with GP in 2010 and I dropped over 20 pounds and looked deadly ill. Now I am having the opposite effect. I now have gained over 30 pounds. I have been trying to eat healthy without having a flare up. Is there a list of foods that can help you with a diet to possibly lose some weight and then maintain it? I probably eat 1-2 times a day as if i ate anymore I would pop! I have had my primary care check my thyroid and it is normal. I am not sure what to do as I am blowing up more and more like a balloon.

  15. 18

    jinks says

    I didn’t realize i had not posted since 2011, but I found a GI Dr. that put me on a medication noot approved by the FDA in USA called DOMPERIDOME which helped with my continuous vomiting. I have therefore been able to gain weight. They were going to have to insert a tube into my stomach to hhelp me gain weight. I know you are all talking about gaing weight but I was throwing up so much I couldn’t gain weight. The 1st 6 mos. aftter dx. I went from 131 pds. to 103 lbs. I was happy but my MD & my husband wasn’t happy. Through the computer average my GP was 11 hrs. Thanks for reading thiis.

  16. 19

    Rebecca says

    I was diagnosed w/ GP a few years ago. I was (and still am overweight) but I sort of just went about my life and did nothing about it, never changing my diet. Now, when I am finally ready to lose weight, I am finding it very difficult. I’ve been eating pretty much only protein for the last 3 weeks, cutting out all carbs and sugar and nothing is really happening. I figured that being so heavy the weight would just fall off especially in the beginning of my diet but if I’m losing weight it is totally unnoticeable. Does GP have an effect on you being able to lose weight and if so what do I do about it? What else can I do at this point? I’m only eating protein as it is


  17. 20

    Bud Bailey says

    I’ve been diagnosed with gastroparesis, I’m an 83 year old male, and I want to know if this is what’s caused me to develop a large abdomen. I go to the Fitness Center 4X a week, walk the treadmill and do other machines but my belly is bigger than ever.
    Can you e-mail me a copy of your video?
    Thank you

  18. 21

    sharon says

    I have gastroparesis and can’t open this to hear what is being siad. My gastroparesis causes me to gain weight and my stomach bloats to the point of looking pregnant. will the gastric sleeve help and will i loose the weight i have gained.

  19. 22

    Jodi McDade says

    Hello I have had stomach problems forever it seems. But finally been told have gastroparosis. I’ve had several emptying test and all other tests. But I too have not lost weight. My stomach looks like I am pregnant which I am not or would have carried it for about 2 years now lol. My Dr said he did all he could do and told me surgery was best but he sent me to hospital that dont accept my insurance. Then sent me to osu and to dietitian and she told me what I already was doing by eating different and small meals and wanted me to go see another dietitian. I didn’t have money to keep running around so i gave up but my stomach is hurting getting bigger have nausea some vomiting terrible bowel movements. My vomiting slowed down they gave me profound. But I cant find a dr close that does the surgery. Wondering if u had any info. I live in ohio have Molina ins. I just dont know what to do some days ready to cut my stomach open myself. Then maybe they will take me seriously. Thank u in advance

  20. 23

    Susan says

    I found out last Dec. 2013 I had GP. I am 61 always been small 125 at the most 130

    I am now 160 all gain since I found out I had GP. I have tried everything I can not lose I just gain. Very upsetting never had a weight problem never dieted. I was tolds by the nurse the day of the test she called. That scared me in itself. That I had acute severe GP not to put anyting soild in my mouth. I did not have and app. Till mid Jan 2014. So not knowing i made fruit and veg smoothies. I kept gaining and hurting an I looked 8months preg. Got to doctor they told me I was keeping food in my stomach for 2 weeks. I was not to have fruit smoothies that was causing my swelling no more salad. Then I get a llst of foods which included bread and meat. I have had for as long as I can remember IBS very bad.
    I am so lost. In have your book but still confused. My GP is drug related due to meds prescribed for a bad back from taking care of my mother who I had to lift for about 8years. I lost her in 2009. I am on stress overload. I know have custody of my grandson who I alao watched with mom. To many reasons for the stress to list. It all started in 2005 when I had to fight in court an DCS for him till I got custody in 2010. But I had him the hold time I fought in court. Along with many more stress factors it does not help my GP so I was told. All I have been given in nausea meds. I do not throw up.
    I have all others symptoms so I am grateful I do not throw up.
    Any suggestions on how to lose never dieted before and very confused on liq. Diet but I can not have fruit or salad stuff to make smoothies. Please help I can handle this if I could just lose weight
    I’m getting were I don’t like to go anywere due to my weight gain. Husband is not real understanding and make fun of my weight.PLEASE HELP