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Abdominal fullness prematurely after meals

Alternative names

Early satiety


Satiety is the satisfied feeling of being full after eating. Early satiety is feeling full sooner than normal or after eating less than usual.


Early satiety can occur from numerous causes.

Common Causes

  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Gastric outlet obstruction
  • Decreased stomach distensibility
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Dyspepsia

Home Care

Follow your health care provider's recommendations. A liquid diet may be helpful. A detailed diet log (recording what was eaten, how much, and when) may be needed. Small, frequent meals may be more tolerable than large, less frequent meals. A diet high in fat may worsen the feeling.

Call your health care provider if

  • The feeling lasts for days to weeks and does not get better.
  • There are associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, or bloating.
  • There is fever, chills, or weight loss or gain.

The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.

Medical history questions documenting this symptom in detail may include:
  • Time pattern
    • When did this symptom begin?
    • How long does each episode last?
  • Associated symptoms
    • Is there vomiting?
    • Is there abdominal distention ?
    • Is there excessive gas (flatus)?
    • Is there a lack of appetite ?
    • Is there abdominal pain ?
    • Has the patient gained or lost weight?
    • Is there fever or chills?
The physical examination will include emphasis on the digestive tract.

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
  • Blood studies for anemia , such as a CBC and blood differential
  • Endoscopy (EGD)
  • Stool tests for bleeding
  • X-rays studies of the stomach, esophagus, and small intestine (abdominal x-ray and an upper GI and small bowel series )
  • Stomach-emptying studies
After seeing your health care provider:
You may want to add a diagnosis related to early satiety to your personal medical record.

Update Date: 1/26/2004

Sreeni Jonnalagadda, M.D., Interventional and Pancreatobiliary Endoscopy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT