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Can Gastroparesis Be Caused Psychologically?

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From Canada: Can Gastroparesis be caused psychologically or is there always an underlying physical cause to Gastroparesis? The Gastroenterologist that diagnosed our daughter with Gastroparesis (by doing a Gastric Emptying Test) doesn’t seem to be able to figure out what is going on with our daughter and cannot figure out how to get her feeling better and now, in the frustration (I think), seems to be switching to a psychological reasoning (or conversion disorder) behind her Gastroparesis.

Can a person psychologically cause a stomach to either digest much slower than normal or not digest at all (which the Gastric Emptying test confirmed). We are confused because at first, the Gastroenterologist was very certain in her diagnosis but now she’s starting to waver and there has been no change in our daughter’s behavior/mood/mental health other than the fact that she has a much harder time getting the nutrition she needs because her digestive system is working less and less.

Can Gastroparesis Be Caused Psychologically?

Answered by on -


Anything is possible, of course. But before agreeing that the problem is psychological, please get a second opinion. Sadly, I’ve known cases where doctors, in their frustration when they couldn’t make a diagnosis, have attributed anxiety or depression to what turned out to be serious medical problems.

No single doctor can be expected to know everything. That’s why it’s important to get more advice before turning to mental illness as an underlying cause of physical symptoms.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Can Gastroparesis Be Caused Psychologically?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Can Gastroparesis Be Caused Psychologically?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.