What is a Water Load Test?
A water load test is a test used to help diagnose the cause of your stomach discomfort (a condition called dyspepsia). This is a simple test in which you will drink lots of water so that your stomach functioning can be checked. More specifically, this test will check your stomach’s capacity, the symptoms you experience while your stomach is full, and determine how well the nerves and muscles around your stomach are working to move food out of the stomach.
The water load test is typically given to people who have stomach discomfort accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Feeling of upper abdominal fullness
- Feeling of having a "full" stomach soon after beginning eating
- Feeling "bloated"
- Pain after eating a meal
- Pain relieved by belching
- Anorexia or weight loss
How the test works
First, you will be asked about your symptoms when your stomach is relatively empty.
Next, you will be asked to drink as much water as you possibly can over a 5-minute period (hence the name water load test). Drinking a large volume of water is a simple way to distend (expand) the stomach. When you are full and are unable to drink any more water, a second assessment of your symptoms will be made.
Before the test
Do not eat or drink anything 4 hours before the test.
During the test
You will be seated in a comfortable chair for the duration of the test.
After the test
Your doctor will combine the results of this test along with the findings of your physical exam, history, symptoms and results of other tests to develop a diagnosis for the cause of your stomach discomfort.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.< This document was last reviewed on: 1/8/2010...#12761