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 or diabetic stomach. In fact, diabetes is known to be the most common causes of gastroparesis.
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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?
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 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.
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.
What measures can be taken to control it?
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.
As a diabetic if you are feeling the same symptoms and complications please consult your doctor asap. If you or your known has experienced diabetic gastroparesis, share your experience with us in the comments below.