Type 2 diabetes is a common condition from which millions of people worldwide suffer. High blood sugars left untreated will cause a number of painful symptoms, particularly in the stomach
Type 2 diabetes is a complicated condition and as with most complicated issues, being able to pinpoint the precise signs and symptoms may not always be obvious.
Having high blood sugar levels can affect the gastrointestinal tract, causing a number of painful symptoms.
Having consistently high blood sugars is known to affect certain body parts, including the abdomen and gastrointestinal tract, causing painful symptoms.
Often in type 2 diabetes a person’s digestion slows down and food stays in the body longer than it should.
This can cause a host of painful signs affecting the patient’s day-to-day life.
So what are the signs to watch out for?
Gastroparesis is known as delayed gastric emptying and is a disorder of the digestive tract.
It is common in people suffering with high blood sugars.
The condition makes it difficult for the brain to send messages through the nervous system that ensure the muscles in the stomach work normally.
Gastroparesis causes food to remain in the stomach for a period of time that is longer than average.
The result is undigested food sitting in the tummy which could cause malnutrition and dehydration.
Symptoms of gastroparesis
- Reduced appetite
- Abdominal pain
- heart burn
- muscle weakness
- Night sweats
- Feeling full after consuming small amounts of food
The delayed stomach emptying and reduced digestive motility associated with gastroparesis can have a significant impact on bowel function.
“Symptoms can lead to weight loss and nutritional deficiencies by making it difficult for those affected to consume enough food,” says the GI Society.
It added: “Another serious complication is periods of very low blood sugar while the food remains in the stomach and very high blood sugar when it finally makes it to the small intestine.
“Gastroparesis often has a negative impact on many areas of life.”
The health site further explained how the debilitating symptoms and inability to eat normal meals can further cause psychological symptoms.
This is because “patients may feel depressed and anxious and can interfere with their ability to work and participate in social activities”.
Treatment for gastroparesis
There are a number of ways to help overcome the painful and uncomfortable symptoms caused by gastroparesis.
The NHS recommends eating more meals than the usual three, but making them smaller in size.
“This means there’s less food in your stomach and it will be easier to pass through your system.”
Other methods include opting for softer and more liquid form foods as they are easier to digest.
“Chew food well before swallowing and avoid fizzy liquids while eating,” added the national health body.
Reduce the amount of carbohydrates consumed
Someone with Type 2 diabetes should watch their carbohydrate count because carbs have the most pronounced effect on the blood sugar.
This is because carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into the bloodstream.
White bread, rice and pasta are some of the worst offenders for managing blood sugar levels.
Instead, you should opt for low-carb items such as fish and leafy greens to control blood sugar levels, according to health experts.