Diabetic Gastroparesis: Symptoms, Complications, Treatments & More

Overview

Gastroparesis is also referred to as delayed gastric emptying. It is a condition of the digestive tract that makes food to staying the stomach for a period that is longer than average. This happens because the nerves responsible for moving food through the digestive tract are damaged, so muscles are unable to generate enough power to cause gastric emptying. Therefore, undigested food remains in the stomach [1].

The most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes. It can develop and progress over time, especially in people with high blood sugar levels.

During normal digestion, contraction of the stomach occurs to help degrade food and move into the small intestine. Gastroparesis impedes the contraction of the stomach, which can affect digestion.

Type 1 diabetes [2] and type 2 diabetes can cause nerve damage. Vagus nerves [3] is an example of nerves inhibited by diabetes and it regulates the movement of meals through the stomach.

Damage to the vagus nerve causes the muscles in the stomach and other areas of the digestive tract to function abnormally. When this occurs, food cannot move properly into the small intestine.

This article will be discussing some of the most important things to know about diabetic gastroparesis.