Gastric Emptying test

Gastrointestinal diagram

What is a Gastric Emptying test?

It is a special test that measures the time the stomach takes to empty food. No food can be eaten after midnight the day before the test, certain medications need to be stopped a few days before especially anti nausea and pain ones. No laxatives can be taken.
There is a choice of either a fried egg sandwich or bowl of porridge, this is decided beforehand. The test takes 4 hours in total.

We arrived in enough time hoping to be able to go in early, the nurse called my name and wheeled me through into a room with two beds, one was occupied with someone else having the same test, the nurse explained what would happen and how it is important that I eat all the porridge as the special markers are mixed in so it would affect the results, as soon as I have finished eating the test can start, I found it quite hard eating the porridge as it was plain, I tried to imagine it had syrup in it as this is the way I like having mine. The nurse told me every 15 mins to blow into a special foil bag after holding my breath for 15 secs breathing out partly then exhaling the rest into the bag and it was sealed with a cap on one end, this same procedure was repeated over two hours. I found it very boring and tiring and at times felt I was nodding off but wasn't allowed as the digestion is affected when asleep. Luckily my parents were there so took me in my wheelchair down the corridoor for a change of scene, this was allowed you didn't have to stay on the bed all the time, making sure we were back for when the buzzer went off. Once the first two hours were over I then went to 30 min intervals of blowing in the bag, it seemed like it was going on forever, they were definitely the longest two hours. It was such a relief when I got to the last bag and knew that was it and I could go home. I will get the results next week when I have an appointment with the Consultant.  

bowl of porridge
 photo new signature for posts_zps8xcyqcdx.png


  1. Really informative post. Thanks for sharing. It's interesting to see different ways a test can be done. I had a gastric emptying test done but it was different to this x

  2. Thank you for commenting. I think there are a few different ones. x