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Diabetic Complications: Gastroparesis

 
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Up until I started researching about common gastrointestinal problems I didn't even know some conditions existed. Well, I learned yet another complication that we diabetics have to be aware of. So far, knock on wood, I haven't had my GI attacks in awhile. I am thankful each day for not having to deal with bloating, vomiting, lumps in the throat, etc.

Gastroparesis is one such condition I learned about this week while doing research. It is defined as, "a condition in which the normal rate at which the stomach empties food into duodenum is slowed as a result of autonomic neuropathy effecting the stomach."

In other words, patients who have gastroparesis develop delayed stomach emptying. After a meal the food stays in the stomach without being digested. This is due to the damage to the vagus nerves which regulate the digestive system.

These nerves make the muscles help function in digesting food in the stomach. The damage to the vagus nerves leads to the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anal spincter, unresponsive, especially the stomach muscles.

Some of the causes for this condition include use of anti-depressants, high blood pressure drugs, diabetic drugs, fatty food, high blood sugar, longevity of diabetic condition, viral infections, abdominal surgeries, narcotics, deposits of protein fibers in tissues and organs (amyloidosis) and scleroderma, a connective tissue disorder affecting skin, blood vessels, skeletal muscles and internal organs.(WebMD.com).

Symptoms of gastroparesis include: peptic ulcers, diarrhea, heartburn, vomiting, poor control of blood sugar, bloating or feeling full, poor appetite and weight loss.

Complications of gastroparesis:

1. Food stays in the stomach for a long time leading to bacterial growth.
2. Food can harden into lumps called "bezoar" causing blockages in the stomach keeping it from moving into the small intestine.
3. Vomiting and nausea.
4. Dumping syndrome caused by eating high sugar and fatty foods cause lightheadedness, rapid heart beat, cramping, sweating, fatigue. (American College of Gastroenterology)

Preventative methods include:

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

One of the many symptoms of amyloidosis is diarrhea and sudden loss of weight. The others are:
SHORTNESS OF BREATH
FATIGUE
ENLARGED TONGUE(MACROGLOSSIA)
PURPUREA (BRUiSING AROUND EYES)
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
FOAMY FROTHY URINE
DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING
NONPRODUCTIVE COUGH
SUDDEN LOSS OF WEIGHT
TINGLING OR NUMBNESS HANDS OR FEET
EDEMA (ANKLE AND FEET SWELLING)
DIARRHEA
DIZZINESS UPON STANDING
WEAKNESS
IRREGULAR HEART BEAT
HIGH CHOLESTEROL
LOWER BACK ACHE
FALLING DUE TO LOW BLOOD PRESSURE
FALLING ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL
CHANGES IN NAILS OR HAIR
CHANGES IN SKIN
EASY BRUISING
ELEVATED ALKALINE PHOS.LEVELS IN BLOOD

Muriel Finkel
AMYLOIDOSIS SUPPORT GROUPS
ASG www.amyloidosissupport.com
Toll Free 866-404-7539
National Organization Member of NORD
www.rarediseases.org
www.amyloidosisonline.com - Over 1000 have joined
www.popsrun.org

"Recycle Yourself, Be an Organ Donor"

May 6, 2011 - 2:03pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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