Causes of Diabetic Gastroparesis
Diabetes is one of the causes that damages your vagus nerve, disturbing the function of your digestive system. Uncontrollable sugar levels damage your vagus nerve. Also, high glucose levels damage your blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to your body’s nerves and organs, including your digestive tract and vagus nerve.
If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about diabetic gastroparesis and get proper treatment for diabetes.
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Risk Factors of Diabetic Gastroparesis
Risk factors of diabetic gastroparesis include:
- Suffering from type 1 diabetes
- Suffering from type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years
- Diabetic women are at higher risk of developing it than men
- Eating disorders and previous abdominal/gastric surgeries
- Suffering from coexisting autoimmune conditions
Diabetic gastroparesis, sometimes, has no known cause, even after extensive testing.
Diagnosis of Diabetic Gastroparesis
Your doctor will examine your abdomen area and also ask about your symptoms. To rule out this condition, your doctor may order the following tests:
- Scintigraphy or gastric emptying scan: This test measures how quickly food moves out from your stomach. A slightly radioactive substance is added to your food. The radiation is small and safe. You are asked to eat and lie down under a machine that takes images of the food inside your stomach. Images will be taken every 15 minutes for up to 4 hours after you eat.
- Gastric emptying breath test (GEBT): This test determines how fast food moves from your stomach to the small intestine. This test measures the amount of carbon in your breath after you eat a meal or a food item specially prepared for the test.
- An X-ray or ultrasound: These imaging techniques show how your stomach and digestive system work. Your doctor may give you a chalky liquid to drink before an X-ray or ultrasound. This liquid helps show up your stomach and intestines very clearly on the monitor.
- Endoscopy: An endoscopy may help your doctor to understand the causes of your digestive problems. A scope is inserted in your body to get images of the inside of your stomach. It has a small camera with a light that helps capture the images. Samples may be taken from your digestive tract and sent for analysis.