Gastroparesis affects how the stomach moves food into the intestines and leads to bloating, nausea, and heartburn. When type 2 diabetes causes the condition, doctors call it diabetic gastroparesis. What is it and how to treat it?
The symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux (backup of stomach contents into the oesophagus)
- Vomiting undigested food
- Early satiety (feeling full quickly when eating)
- Abdominal bloating (enlargement)
- Poor appetite and weight loss
- Poor blood sugar control
For type 2 diabetics who are also suffering with gastroparesis, dangerous health problems could ensue due to blood glucose levels rising quickly when the food finally leaves the stomach to enter the small intestine.
Food that says in the stomach too long begins to ferment and this can lead to the growth of bacteria in the tummy.
Also, food stuck in the stomach may begin to harden into a solid mass known as bezoar.
Bezoars can cause blockages in the stomach which keep food from passing into the small intestines.
How to treat gastroparesis and lower blood sugar levels
Managing blood sugar levels is the most important part of treating diabetic gastroparesis, advised Medical News Today.
It continued: “Most doctors will advise a person with diabetic gastroparesis to check their blood sugar levels more frequently than someone with diabetes who does not have gastroparesis.
“More frequent blood sugar checks can help the individual and their doctor better tailor their treatment.
Treatment can include any combination of the following changing the dosage and timing of insulin, oral medications, avoiding drugs which may delay gastric emptying including opiates and changes in diet and eating habits.”