The literal translation of gastroparesis is “stomach paralysis.” When the stomach functions normally, it contracts to help crush digested food before sending it to the small intestine where further digestion occurs and nutrients are absorbed. People who suffer from gastroparesis can’t crush food or move it to the small intestine because the stomach doesn’t contract normally.

A common symptom of gastroparesis is feeling full shortly after starting a meal. People can also experience bloating, nausea, vomiting and heartburn.