There are several different reasons why diabetes and abdominal pain occur together. In particular, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are likely to be developed by diabetics. GI disorders may include peptic ulcer disease, gallstones, or irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), as many as 75% of patients who visit diabetes clinics report significant GI symptoms, including diabetes abdominal pain.

High blood sugar levels lead to GI symptoms such as abdominal pain in diabetes. Other symptoms of GI complication may include dysphagia, early satiety, reflux, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Diabetics who have a history of retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy are so likely to develop GI problems that it is normally presumed, whether they experience abdominal pain diabetes symptoms or not.


Can Diabetes Cause Abdominal Pain


One of the most common problems concerning abdominal pain and diabetes is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a condition in which the muscles in the stomach do not work properly and sometimes not at all. This prevents your stomach from emptying normally, leading to nausea, vomiting, and problems concerning nutrition and blood sugar control. It is still uncertain what causes gastroparesis, but is thought to be caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which is the nerve that controls the muscles of the stomach.

Diabetes is the leading cause of gastroparesis. It is important to know the symptoms of this condition. This condition can be quite dangerous because foods that linger too long in the stomach without be digested can cause bacterial overgrowth because of the fermentation of food. Also, the food can harden into solid masses called bezoars, which can block the passage of food into the small intestine.

Diagnosis of this disorder may be difficult because symptoms can vary widely, ranging from mild to severe and happen more frequently in some people than in others. In addition, eating solid foods that are high in fiber, such as raw fruits and vegetables, foods that are high in fat, and drinks that are high in fat and in/or carbonation may also contribute to symptoms. The most common symptoms of gastroparesis are:

  • Heartburn
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting of undigested food
  • A feeling of fullness after only a few bites
  • Weight loss due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake
  • Abdominal bloating
  • High and low blood glucose levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Spasms in the stomach area