What Is Gastroparesis?

    If you have diabetes and your doctor suspects gastroparesis, he or she will review your symptoms and medical history with you. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination and may order certain blood tests, including blood sugar levels. Your doctor will want to make sure an obstruction is not the cause of your symptoms. Tests used to diagnose gastroparesis may include:

    What is the treatment for gastroparesis in diabetes?

    Just like diabetes, gastroparesis is a chronic (long-lasting) condition. This means that while the treatment usually doesn’t cure the gastroparesis (or diabetes), you can still manage gastroparesis and its symptoms.

    People who have diabetes should try to control their blood sugar levels to minimize the problems of gastroparesis. For instance, if you have diabetes, you may want to change when and how often you use insulin, and check your blood sugar levels more often. Adjusting your diet may also help to alleviate your symptoms of gastroparesis.

    Talk to your doctor about discontinuing/changing medications that might worsen gastroparesis, such as some antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, or certain medications used to treat diabetes.

    Should I change my diet with gastroparesis and diabetes?

    • If you have diabetes, one of the best ways to help control the symptoms of gastroparesis is to vary when and how you eat. For instance, instead of three meals a day, you can eat six small meals. In this way, there is less food in your stomach; you won’t feel as full, and it will be easier for the food to leave your stomach. Another important factor is the texture of food; liquids and low-residue foods are encouraged (for example, applesauce should replace whole apples with intact skins).

    • With gastroparesis, you should also avoid foods that are high in fat (which can slow down digestion) and fiber (which is difficult to digest).

    What is dumping syndrome?

    Diabetes makes you susceptible to dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome produces symptoms like gastroparesis. With dumping syndrome, you might feel uncomfortable after eating high-sugar/high-fat foods with symptoms of lightheadedness, rapid heart rate, cramping, nausea, sweating, and fatigue. People with severe cases of dumping syndrome may experience weight loss and even malnutrition.

    Contact your doctor if you develop signs and symptoms of gastroparesis or dumping syndrome.

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