Type 2 diabetes can affect a person’s tummy causing pain and a condition called gastroparesis. This condition ensues due to how quickly or slowly the stomach is able to empty which is known as the vagus nerve. When the tummy is damaged, a person’s digestion slows down and food stays in the body longer than it should. Why?
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Clinical Diabetes said: “Diabetic gastroparesis is a condition in which emptying of food from the stomach is delayed, leading to retention of stomach contents.
“This may cause bloating, early satiety, distension, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting.
“Gastric stasis may lead to worsening gastroesophageal reflux along with symptoms of heartburn and mechanical regurgitation of gastric contents.
“In addition, fatty foods and very fibrous foods normally exit the stomach slowly and may be poorly tolerated.”
What is gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder of the digestive tract that causes food to remain in the stomach longer than it should.
This occurs because the nerves that move food through the digestive tract are damaged, so the muscles in the stomach don’t work properly.
As a result, foods remain in the stomach undigested.
The most common cause of this condition is high blood sugar levels and can develop and progress over time.
How gastroparesis and high blood sugar are related
Gastroparesis is more common in people who have high, uncontrolled blood glucose levels over a long period of time.
Extended periods of high glucose in the blood cause nerve damage throughout the body.
For a person dealing with chronically high blood sugar levels, damage to the blood vessels that supply the body’s nerves and organs with nutrition and oxygen may occur.
This includes the vagus nerve and digestive tract, both of which ultimately lead to gastroparesis.
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When food isn’t digested normally due to gastroparesis, symptoms such as bloating, and a feeling of fullness may occur.
Undigested food can also form solid masses called bezoars that can contribute to nausea, vomiting and obstruction of the small intestines.
Gastroparesis is more dangerous for those with type 2 diabetes because it delays digestion making blood sugar levels even more difficult to control.
Gastroparesis makes the digestion process hard to track making glucose reading fluctuate.
When erratic glucose readings occur, it’s important to speak with your GP immediately as very serious health conditions could ensue.
Medical News Today added: “Gastroparesis makes it harder for a person with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.
“Sometimes, the stomach of a person with gastroparesis may take a very long time to empty the food into the intestine for absorption.
“Other times, the stomach may pass the food very quickly.
“This unpredictability makes it difficult for someone with diabetes to know when to take insulin, meaning that their blood sugar levels may get too high or too low at times.
“When blood sugar levels are too high it puts a person with diabetes at greater risk of kidney damage, eye damage and foot complications that can lead to amputation.”
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