What is early satiety?
Early satiety is the inability to eat a full meal or feeling full after only a small amount of food.
This is most likely due to gastroparesis, a condition in which the stomach is slow to empty.
Symptoms of early satiety
Symptoms often associated with early satiety include:
- an inability to consume a normal-sized meal
- a feeling of being full after eating very little food
- nausea and vomiting that occurs when attempting to eat a normal-sized meal
Early satiety tests
Tests may include:
- complete blood count and blood differential to check for anemia
- endoscopy (EGD) to examine the esophagus and stomach for abnormalities
- stool tests for bleeding
- x-ray studies of the stomach, esophagus, and small intestine (abdominal x-ray and an upper GI and small bowel series)
- gastric-emptying studies
Causes of early satiety
- ulcers of the stomach, also referred to as peptic ulcers
- an obstruction
- a tumor of the abdominal organs, or in the abdomen
- GERD (often referred to as heartburn) that irritates the lining of the esophagus
- a problem with the nerves that control the movement of food in the digestive system; this may be the result of surgery
Treatment of early satiety
- a diet that is low in fats
- smaller portions eaten more frequently
- prokinetic medications, such as Reglan, or Domperidone
Any change in eating habits or digestion should be referred to a physician.
Call your doctor if:
- the feeling lasts for days to weeks and does not get better
- you lose weight without trying
- you have dark stools
- you have nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, or bloating
- you have fever and chills
The doctor will examine you and ask questions such as:
- When did this symptom begin?
- How long does each episode last?
- What foods, if any, make the symptoms worse?
- What other symptoms do you have (for example, vomiting, excessive gas, abdominal pain, or weight loss)