Diabetes and Gastroparesis
The medical condition known as gastroparesis is the result of the stomach not emptying out the contents fast enough. For patients with type 1 diabetes, this is a very common event; however it has been known to effect those with type 2 diabetes as well. The cause is when the nerves connected to the stomach are no longer working the way that they should due to damage or they are not working at all. Of course, nerve damage is very common in patients that are diabetic so the connection is not uncommon. The vagus nerve is the main nerve that has control over food moving through the digestive tract. When this becomes damaged, food movement becomes slower or does not happen at all. Thus, gastroparesis becomes a factor and treatment is needed.
Knowing the symptoms of gastroparesis can help you to determine if there may be a problem.
These include vomiting, nausea, unusual weight loss, bloating and/or discomfort in the abdomen, and feeling full although you have not eaten much. The way that the patient reacts to any of the symptoms is going to vary from person to person. Gastroparesis can also create difficulty for patients to be able to control their blood sugar levels. It can also create a growth of bacteria from the food not moving the way that it should and from the food sitting too long, it actually begins to harden and block all food from being passed to the small intestine.
There are many causes such as anorexia, surgery that has been done on the stomach, certain medications, disease of the nervous system, metabolic disorders, and of course diabetes. To be diagnosed, the doctor can perform various tests which include a barium x-ray, barium beefsteak meal, radioisotope gastric-emptying scan, blood test, or gastric manometry. If the doctor feels that it may be caused by something other than diabetes, they may perform separate tests such as an ultrasound or perhaps upper endoscopy. As for the treatment plan, it is going to depend upon the person and the severity of the case. You may need to change your eating habits, the amount of insulin that you take, or in severe cases, have intravenous feeding or a feeding tube.
It will be crucial that you check your blood sugar levels more often to make sure that they are staying where they need to be. If you need to change your eating habits, it is possible that you may need to break down your meal times from 3 to 6 or add more liquids to your diet and less food. These changes will help your blood sugar levels to get back to normal and for the gastroparesis to get corrected as well. Keeping in touch with your doctor throughout your treatment plan is important so that they can note any changes. It may not be a short and sweet process, however it is one that can be treated so that you can get back to a normal routine.
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