Everyone has stomach pain from time to time. Diabetic stomach pain, however, may be a sign of a serious dis order called gastroparesis. Gasterolparesis is a condition in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. This occurs because the vagus nerve, which controls the movement of food through the digestive tract, has either been damaged or stops working. This causes the muscles of the intestines to stop working properly and therefore the movement of the food is either slowed or stopped, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Aside from diabetic stomach pain, symptoms of this condition include:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting of undigested food
  • Early feeling of fullness when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Erratic blood glucose levels
  • Lack of appetite
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Spasms of the stomach wall


Gastroparesis makes diabetes more difficult to manage because it causes blood glucose levels to fluctuate dramatically. It may also lead to more immediate complications. For example, if food stays in the stomach for too long it can lead to bacterial overgrowth. Sometimes diabetic stomach pain is caused by bezoars, which is food that hardens into a solid mass and blocks the passage of food into the small intestine. Therefore, if you are experiencing diabetic stomach pain often and you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should visit with your doctor as soon as possible.


Other Reasons for Diabetic Stomach Pain


Of course, there are a number of less serious reasons for diabetic stomach pain. DiabeticLivingOnline.com lines out several of them as follows:

Changes in eating. Diabetics are often told to eat more fiber, which often leads to gas and bloating. For this reason, the website suggests increasing your intake gradually and using beans to increase your daily intake.

Medications. There are several glucose-lowering medications which will cause you to have diabetic stomach pain. Metformin is one example. It can lead to heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea. In fact, there are a small number of people who cannot tolerate this drug at all.

Blood sugar levels. Having too high of blood sugar levels can lead to dangerous conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS). Both of these conditions include symptoms of abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting. Low blood sugar levels can lead to nausea as well.

Again, if symptoms such as diabetic stomach pain persist or return often, it is best to consult with your doctor. This will allow for changes to be made to your diet and medication in an ample amount of time, as well as allow you to be certain no other serious conditions are causing your pain.


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