Diabetes Affect – Endocrine, Excretory, and Digestive Systems

After going through this post, you’ll have the answer to all the following questions:

  • What is diabetic gastroparesis?
  • What are the symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis?
  • How does diabetes affect the endocrine system?
  • What is an endocrinologist diabetes?
  • How can diabetes cause stomach problem?
  • How are diabetes and digestive issues related?
  • What are the measures taken to control diabetic gastroparesis?

Let’s get started.

What Is Diabetic Gastroparesis?


Sometimes the food eaten takes prolonged time to be digested by the stomach due to various reasons. This further causes a delay in emptying the stomach completely. This dis-functioning of stomach is called gastroparesis. And, when this condition is caused due to diabetes, it is known as diabetic gastroparesis. In fact, diabetes is known to be the most common causes of gastroparesis.

How it is caused?

Diabetic gastroparesis is primarily related to the vagus nerve, a cranial nerve stemming from the brain into the digestive tract, particularly in the stomach. This nerve usually helps in passing down the food into the small intestine for proper digestion. However, if the body is suffering from diabetes, it starts interfering with the functions of this nerve, because of which the intestinal and stomach muscles cease functioning correctly. This holds up the movement of food through the digestive path, giving a call to a whole lot of digestive problems.

What Are The Symptoms Of Diabetic Gastroparesis?

Diabetic Gastroparesis

Symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis may vary depending on its causes and severity of the vagus nerve. Following are the most common signs and symptoms prevalent in initial stages of the condition.

Vomiting and nausea

Vomiting once in a while doesn’t necessarily mean the presence of gastroparesis condition however, if it comes quite frequently say, almost daily, then there’s a strong possibility that the body is suffering from diabetic gastroparesis.

Abdominal pain

Abdominal cramps are generally ignored by the people. While in some people, the pain is caused by minor food poisoning caused by junk food, in others, it can be highly severe, especially if the person is diabetic.

Heartburn or Acid Reflux

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn is caused when the food or contents of the stomach, instead of digestion pump backwards into the oesophagus due to improper digestion. Studies show that 60 percent of adult population suffers from acid reflux once or more in a 12-month period. Currently, there are millions of people suffering daily from this condition. Be it due to unhealthy eating habits or work lifestyles, however, frequent heart burns can pose a major risk of diabetes and hence, diabetic gastroparesis.

Feeling Full Too Often

If a person starts feeling full just after eating a few mouthfuls of food, it’s a high sign that the body is not breaking down the nutrients effectively and thus, a major symptom of gastroparesis.

Weight Loss

This is a common notion among people. Most of the people relate weight loss with less eating. However, the truth is how much you eat is not as important as much as the fact that what you eat. If you are eating less, but the food is oily and unhealthy, you might as well catch a disease. On the other hand, a person eating multiple meals in a day but keeping healthy portions in the plate will tend to be more healthy and less prone to diabetes as well.

Weight loss is not always a good sign, remember.

Difficult to Control Blood Sugar

If you are facing trouble keeping the blood sugar levels under control, it of course is a sign of diabetes. Also, if these levels boost up too quickly or fall down too quickly, gastroparesis might also be the case.

How Does Diabetes Affect The Endocrine System?

Endocrine System

Likewise on the digestive system, diabetes also has some consequences on the endocrine system. But before we delve into its effects, let us have a quick glance into the understanding of what endocrine system is and what role does it play.

What is Endocrine System& what is the meaning of Endocrine Disease?

Endocrine system is basically a complex network of glands that produce some chemicals known as hormones.These hormones are responsible for controlling various functions of the body by sending signals to the brain. The body falls under an endocrine disease either when the glands stop producing respective hormones or when the brain doesn’t respond to the hormonal signals.

Some of the major glands that form up the endocrine system are:

  • Adrenal glands
  • Pancreas
  • Pituitary gland
  • Reproductive glands
  • Hypothalamus
  • Thyroid
  • Pineal body
  • Parathyroid

Relation between Diabetes and Endocrine System

Diabetes is a form of endocrine disease caused by high blood sugar levels in the body. It is perhaps the most common disease affecting the endocrine system. Diabetes arises when the group of hormones governing the glucose levels in the blood stops functioning, resulting in shooting up of the blood glucose.

In addition to insulin and glucagon, various other hormones of endocrine system are responsible for influencing blood glucose levels. For instance, cortisol raises the levels of blood glucose to boost up the energy. Likewise, incretins hormones begin the insulin secretion from the pancreas, so that the glucose levels don’t increase much, after having meals.

What Is Endocrinologist Diabetes?


Diabetes and endocrinology go hand in hand as the latter mainly deals with the endocrine organs that are responsible for the hormonal imbalances in our body, including the rise of blood glucose levels resulting in diabetes. Endocrinologists specialize in the treatment of disorders related to glands, and insulin being a hormone, diabetes is also regarded as a hormonal malady.

How diabetes affects the stomach?

The answer to this question is very much similar to the first question of this article. According to doctors, the other term for gastroparesis is ‘diabetic stomach’. Autonomic neuropathy that is the damaging of the vagus nerve, makes the movement of the food slow, thus retaining it for an extended period. This accumulation of solid mass in the stomach leads to awful pain and discomfort.

The principal cause of this has been owed to diabetes. Although it occurs in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but according to WHO, type 1 patients are more frequented by it. Type 1 diabetes stomach problems include irregular bowel movements, accidental bowel leakage, prolonged removal of the stomach’s content and bloating of the stomach.

Diabetes also plays a significant role in governing the blood glucose levels. Normally, the surplus glucose in the body, if any, is flushed out through urine. However, a diabetic patient with high glucose level can acquire urinary tract infection due to the bacterial development in the excretory system. It can also result in the damage of nerves and kidney.

How Are Diabetes And Digestive Issues Related?

According to WHO, people with diabetes are exposed to a plethora of digestive issues. The researchers say that type 1 diabetic patients generate an undue protein that can restrict the proper digestion process unlike the healthy people.Many people also have this question – can diabetes cause diarrhoea? The answer to this is very much ‘yes’.

Diarrhoea is the passing of watery stools multiple times a day. Patients with diabetes are at increased risk of diarrhoea as, due to the high blood glucose levels, the nerves that regulate the involuntary movements of the body slacken. So, it is imperative to monitor the blood glucose levels and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

What measures can be taken to control diabetic gastroparesis?

Certain changes need to be inculcated in your daily routine to check diabetic gastroparesis.

Have a look at them.

  • Rather than having three large meals a day, go for five-six small meals. If you want, then you can also have liquids such as soups and juices.
  • Have your dinner four hours before you go to bed.
  • Do not lie down immediately after having meal. Wait for at least three to four hours.
  • Consume foods that are low in fat and roughage.
  • Chew the food well.

We hope the above post has been helpful in educating you on the effects of diabetes on digestive, endocrine and the excretory system and how the same can be treated and managed effectively with the afore-mentioned measures. If you or your known has experienced diabetic gastroparesis, share your experience with us in the comments below.