Gastroparesis: Symptoms, Treatment, and Relation with Diabetes - Diabetes Health Page

Gastroparesis: Symptoms, Treatment, and Relation with Diabetes

By Gabriela | Diabetes

Gastroparesis: Symptoms, Treatment, and Relation With Diabetes

If you’re someone who is currently just entering the world of these health issues, you probably are wondering what gastroparesis actually is.

Gastroparesis is a disorder that stops the food you consume to go to the small intestine from your abdomen. The vagus nerve sends commands to your stomach muscles to move the food into your system through your gastrointestinal tract.

This tract, GI for short, is actually a group of organs that are hollow. They’re all joined together through the digestive tract.

Causes

Usually, people struggling with diabetes should know that their condition causes gastroparesis.

Since this demographic has a significant amount of blood sugar, this is the reason because through time the vagus nerve suffers some damage from so many sugars in the system.

Some other causes for gastroparesis are diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s.

An interesting fact about this phenomenon is also the fact that it’s more common in women and not as much in men.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis:

  • Feeling nauseous,
  • Vomiting,
  • Feeling very full after eating,
  • Losing weight,
  • Stomach bloat,
  • Stomach discomfort,
  • No appetite,
  • Heartburn.

Diagnosis:

Since gastroparesis shares many of the same symptoms as other diseases, it is tricky to diagnose it. But, here’s how you get the diagnosis.

Gastroparesis is diagnosed by visiting a physician. These are some of the methods:

  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy,
  • Upper GI series,
  • Ultrasound,
  • Gastric emptying scintigraphy,
  • SmartPill,
  • Gastric emptying breath test.

Nutrition and Diet-Plan

More and more nowadays experts are recommending eating about six meals per day, which are smaller but more nutritious. If you don’t upset the stomach too much with too much food, it will have an easier time emptying itself more quickly.

This will also boost your metabolism and get used to digesting food more efficiently. You should also remember to chew your food, drink beverages that are noncarbonated, and be active for about two hours after you finish a meal.

Your nutritionist will probably tell you to cut down on fiber-rich foods, as well as foods that are high in fats.

This is the case because the system finds it harder to digest it. Minimize your portions, and avoid fruits and vegetables like broccoli and oranges, which have individual fibrous particles.

When gastroparesis symptoms get to a state when they’re too severe, usually experts recommend going on a liquid diet.

This is the case because liquids leave the system a lot quicker than actual food products.

Speak to a professional and let them help you pick out and make the meal plan that is best for you.

Medication

The medical professionals will prescribe are:

  • Metoclopramide (Reglan);
  • Erythromycin;
  • Other medications, such as antiemetics help treat vomiting and feeling nauseous.

How to Treat Gastroparesis If You Are a Diabetic

Gastroparesis can cause problems when it comes to food digestion if you’re going through diabetes because it triggers the blood sugar to go crazy.

The emptying of the system is very unpredictable when it’s in combination with gastroparesis.

Since this condition is already a problem with people struggling with just that and not diabetes, this can be a huge issue for people.

Professionals recommend:

  • Speak to a professional to change your daily insulin dosage;
  • Talk to a professional if you can take insulin after you finish your meal and not before;
  • Check your levels more often than before;
  • Make sure to consult a professional before changing your insulin intake.

Over time, if not taken care of properly, diabetes can affect different aspects of your system. One of those things that get affected is the vagus nerve.

This nerve is responsible for how quickly your stomach cleans itself out. Since your stomach is damaged this will completely change and lower the quality of the way this happens.

Complications

A complication that can happen is for the food that you eat to remain in the abdomen for too long and turn bad. This can lead to various types of infections and the growth of bacteria.

Malnutrition is another problem people struggling with this condition face, because of the issues with digestion.

Source: Niddk | Web MD | WebMD | The Diabetes Site