Diabetic Gastroparesis: Causes and Prevention

Diabetic gastroparesis

Bloating, nausea, and heartburn are gastroparesis symptoms that alter how the stomach transfers food into the intestines. Doctors refer to the disorder as diabetic gastroparesis when diabetes is the cause. It happens due to muscles not functioning properly due to damaged nerves carrying food through the digestive tract. It results in the food not being digested in the stomach. Diabetes is the most typical cause of gastroparesis. It can develop and worsen with time, particularly in people with uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Mechanism of gastroparesis

Diabetes’ impact on the neurological system might result in gastroparesis. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have the potential to harm nerves. A nerve that may be damaged by diabetes is the vagus nerve. The nerve regulates how food travels through the stomach. The muscles of the abdomen and other areas of the digestive tract are unable to work effectively when the vagus nerve is damaged. When this occurs, food cannot pass through the digestive system as quickly. Delayed stomach emptying is another name for gastroparesis.

Typically, the stomach wall muscles assist in breaking down food as it is ingested, propelling it into the small intestine to finish digestion. The vagus nerve, a component of the so-called “autonomic nervous system,” which automatically controls several basic activities like breathing and heart rate, is responsible for managing this behavior. The stomach and intestines’ muscles generally do not act if the vagus nerve is injured or ceases functioning, which causes food to stop moving or move more slowly. An extended period in the stomach allows food to ferment, leading to the growth of bacteria that produce gas. It explains symptoms like reduced appetite, belching, bloating, and feeling full both soon after starting a meal and hours after finishing one.

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Causes and Prevention of Gastroparesis

Numerous body organs may suffer unfavorable effects from diabetes. For instance, a study reveals that diabetes impacts your abdominal health, leading to specific health problems, particularly stomach discomfort. It could happen with any diabetes. However, those with type-2 diabetes are more likely to experience it. Some of the causes of stomach pain associated with diabetes are listed below.

  • Diet modifications

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, you must undertake many lifestyle adjustments. Dietary fibers in excess can bloat you out and produce gas in your stomach. Additionally, consuming a lot of fiber all at once can cause intolerance. It consequently results in intestinal gas and bloating. Therefore, ingesting too much dietary fiber may have adverse effects, such as stomach pain for people with diabetes.


The cause—a rapid food change that causes stomach pain—indicates the appropriate preventive approach. Therefore, avoid abrupt dietary changes and focus on consuming lots of foods high in dietary fiber. Instead, you should progressively raise the amount. Doing so will help your stomach adjust to the new alterations and avoid discomfort, gas, and bloating. Discarding is another protective strategy. Make careful to throw away the water used to soak the beans and other legumes.

  • Injectables

Some injectable diabetic medications can make you feel queasy in your stomach. In addition, high insulin dosage or skipping meals can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can have serious consequences. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia result in abdominal discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. But it all depends on the dosages. Drugs’ ingredients prolong stomach emptying and cause satiety. However, it occasionally can result in gastric discomforts, such as stomach aches.


It would be best to administer the injections at least 30 minutes before a meal.

  • Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar

Elderly or undiagnosed chronic diabetes individuals may experience unfavorable effects from hyperglycemia. Abnormally high blood sugar levels might cause severe consequences like diabetic ketoacidosis if left untreated. It is a result of low insulin levels in your body. Some symptoms include nausea or abdominal pain, vomiting, and dehydration.


  1. Fluid and insulin delivery must start right away.
  2. Manage your blood sugar levels with medicine and a healthy diet.
  3. Regularly check your blood glucose levels.
  4. Strict and unwavering devotion to prescriptions and instructions is required.
  • Medication for Diabetes

When it comes to controlling blood sugar, several drugs are prescribed by various healthcare professionals. Your gut health may become unbalanced, though. It is likely a result of your stomach’s sensitivity to or inability to tolerate the medication. It might also result from a pharmaceutical interaction or a side effect. Using Metformin as an Example


Some doctors advise patients to use extended metformin releases (ER) to avoid these adverse effects. It prevents or lessens the severity of negative impacts by slowly releasing the medication into your system. In any event, you should visit a doctor if the side effects last long.

  • Diabetic Constipation

The transit of firm stools is irregular. Bloating, soreness in your abdomen and a feeling of fullness are further potential symptoms.


  1. Your stool becomes mushy and thick due to dietary fiber. Consequently, you should include enough foods high in dietary fiber.
  2. Consume plenty of water because dehydration is a typical cause of constipation.
  3. Engaging in frequent physical activity and exercise improves blood flow to the digestive system.

Since gastroparesis is a chronic disorder, there is no known treatment. However, you can effectively manage it with dietary adjustments, medicines, and adequate blood glucose management. You’ll have to adjust, but you can still live a happy and healthy life.


Navya Koshi

Navya Mariam Koshi is a diligent, self-motivated Pharm D graduate using this platform to leverage her skills in this field to provide excellent and exceptional health care services to the public.

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