Diabetic gastroparesis may affect diabetic patient’s digestion. It results from damage to the autonomic nervous system, which is caused by chronic high blood sugar or diabetes. People who have diabetic gastroparesis require special treatment. Their blood sugar and diet should be controlled.
Diabetic gastroparesis is a progressive disorder caused by food remaining in the stomach for longer than normal periods. Reasons for this include high blood sugar and diabetes. High concentrations of blood sugar may result in long term damage to the autonomic nervous system which allows the stomach contract and move ingested food through the digestive tract. The muscles then do not work as required. As a result, food often sits in the stomach undigested or for an extended period of time.
Causes of diabetic gastroparesis are often high and uncontrolled blood glucose in diabetic patients. Extended periods of high glucose in the blood cause chemical changes in the nerves throughout the body. High blood sugar may eventually damage the vessels that supply the body’s nerves with nutrition and oxygen, which ultimately leads to gastroparesis as a result of autonomic nervous system failure. The common symptoms include: heartburn, nausea, vomiting of undigested food, early fullness after a small meal, weight loss, bloating, loss of appetite, unstable blood sugar, stomach spasm and acid reflux.
Treatment of diabetic gastroparesis should begin with controlling of diet and blood sugar levels. A specialist will often suggest that a patient should avoid high-fat and high-fiber food that is not easily digested, and simultaneously check and control blood sugar levels regularly. Prokinetic medication may also assist the stomach to function properly again, however they often have a short term effect. Further treatment in severe cases consists of gastric electrical stimulation. It may reduce nausea and vomiting. Another option in severe diabetic gastroparesis patients is to use a feeding tube or liquid food for nutrition.
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