In life, very often we hear about diabetes complications like neuropathy in our hands, legs and feet, nephropathy in our kidneys, and retinopathy in the eyes, but one thing that isn’t talked about enough is “gastroparesis” in the stomach, a complication of diabetes and high blood sugars.
Gastroparesis is an ambiguous term as it implies a specific condition-paralysis of the stomach, without addressing causes or severity. The main cause of gastroparesis is still unknown. So the neuromuscular disorder, gastroparesis seems to be both a muscle and sensory problem instead of paralysis of the stomach.
Gastroparesis can be well-defined as delayed gastric emptying, a disorder that stops or rather slows down the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. As a result, patients report bloating, nausea, vomiting, and pain.
Gastroparesis can mostly occur in people who do not live with diabetes as the primary cause for diabetics is from high blood sugars, the same as most other diabetes complications. Over time, high blood glucose levels can easily damage the vagus nerve. Some identifiable causes of gastroparesis include surgery of intestine and nervous system diseases like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. It has been seen that gastroparesis is more commonly found in women than in men.
Gastroparesis is knowns as a chronic disorder that affects a significant subset of the population. In this disorder a person often feels nauseas after a meal, sometimes throw up after or several hours after eating, feel very full after only a few bites, have regular acid-reflux, or pain in your stomach after eating. The symptoms can also include “flare-ups,” that means during certain periods of times or after eating certain foods, they can be worse and less severe during other intervals of time.
For people with diabetes, one more issue with gastroparesis is that in this case, the normal rate of digestion combined with today’s fast-acting insulin doesn’t apply. After having meals, this process makes very difficult to manage blood sugar. To ensure the insulin which is dosed will equal the food that is actually being digested within the time-frame in which insulin is peaking and active.
Gastroparesis symptoms may be provoked by eating greasy foods, large quantities of fiber rich foods like raw fruits and vegetables and also by drinking beverages containing high quantity of fat. It can also happen that gastroparesis symptoms may occur frequently in some people as well as less often in others and it can be mild or severe in both the cases. Gastroparesis symptoms may vary in intensity over time in the same individual. Most often, gastroparesis is difficult to diagnose as people experience a range of symptoms similar to those of other diseases.
Although, specific treatment for gastroparesis is still not there that can eliminate the symptoms but if you have been diagnosed then having knowledge of few key nutritional changes is one of the most important things.
Treatments of gastroparesis include dietary measures, medications that accelerate blunt vomiting, psychological therapies and no medication interventions. Responses of inadequate therapeutic predictors include increased bloating, significant distention and severe overall symptoms but not gastroparesis cause.
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Moreover, it is recommended to avoid fibrous and high-fat foods because naturally fat slows down digestion process and even some raw vegetables as well as fruits are more difficult to digest than other foods. People suffering with gastroparesis should minimize intake of large portions of these foods because the undigested foods may remain in the stomach for too long.