Most people who receive this diagnosis are left asking, “What is diabetic gastroparesis?” According to the American Diabetes Association, the diabetic gastroparesis definition is “a type of neuropathy (nerve damage) in which food is delayed from leaving the stomach.”

Diabetic gastroparesis is a condition that typically occurs when diabetes is not well controlled and a person with diabetes has been suffering from hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) causes severe damage to all of the systems of the body, including the nervous system. When nervous system damage occurs in the stomach, diabetic gastroparesis occurs.

Based on information from the International Diabetes Association, diabetes gastroparesis caused a delay in the digestion of food. This can cause extremely uncomfortable symptoms. It is important to get treatment for gastroparesis right away, which includes getting your diabetes under control. If this condition goes untreated, it can lead to more severe complications, including the need for a feeding tube.


Diabetic Gastroparesis Symptoms


According to the American Diabetes Association, the symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis include vomiting undigested food, diarrhea, heartburn, weight loss, decreased appetite, reflux, getting full quickly, nausea, stomach spasms, bloating, and increased or erratic blood sugar.

If you are suffering from these symptoms, contact your physician immediately to discuss your symptoms, possible diagnoses, and treatment options. You may need to schedule some tests with your physician to confirm the diagnosis. Possible tests for diabetic gastroparesis include Barium Beefsteak Meal, Barium x-ray, gastric manometry, radioisotope gastric-emptying scan, blood tests, ultrasound, and upper endoscopy.

It is possible to treat diabetic gastroparesis and live comfortably. Now that you have answered the question, “What is diabetic gastroparesis,” we can look at treatment options.


Diabetic Gastroparesis Treatment


Treatment options for diabetic gastroparesis depend on the severity of the condition. The most important part of treatment is getting the blood sugar under control and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Thus, the most common treatments include oral medications, increased insulin, regular blood glucose level checks, and a specific diet. In severe cases, treatment may also need to include tube feedings or intravenous feedings.


Diabetic Gastroparesis Diet


Most patients with diabetic gastroparesis will be referred to a dietician to discuss meals and food choices. It will probably be recommended that you consume six small meals per day instead of three large meals per day. It may also be recommended that you avoid high-fiber and high-fat foods, as they tend to be more difficult digest. It may also be recommended that you stay on a liquid diet for a period of time, until your gastroparesis is under control. It is important to follow your physician’s recommendations, and seek the advice of a dietitian or specialist is if you are unable to control you blood sugar, follow your treatment plan, or decrease your symptoms.