The digestive system is intricately connected to diabetes. A medical professional warns that elevated blood sugar might cause digestive problems including gastroparesis and acid reflux.
Diabetes is no laughing matter. In all of human history, this has been the health problem that has affected the most people. More than 420 million people throughout the world are diabetic, according to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO). And that figure keeps going up. If not controlled, diabetes can negatively affect one’s quality of life and lead to a host of additional health issues. Diabetes might increase a person’s risk for developing digestive issues. Diabetes and digestion aren’t directly linked, although they do affect one another.
What effects does diabetes have on the digestive system?
If you have diabetes and have been living with it for any length of time or have just been diagnosed, you are probably aware of the potential problems, such as loss of eyesight, kidney disease, and even amputation. However, other organ systems, such as the digestive system, can be impacted by poorly managed type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can cause digestive issues, and such issues are more common the longer you have the disease.
Problems with digestion are a typical side effect of uncontrolled diabetes and high blood sugar.
Acid reflux (GERD)
High levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach can lead to acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, if the stomach isn’t properly emptying its contents on a regular basis (GERD). The nerves that control stomach emptying might be damaged by high blood sugar, preventing it from working properly. Chest discomfort and trouble swallowing are common signs of acid reflux.
Medication, lifestyle modifications (such as dieting), and, as a last resort, surgery may be used to treat the condition.
Nausea, abdominal fullness and pain, loss of weight, and acid reflux are all signs of gastroparesis, a disorder in which the stomach is unable to empty itself of food in a normal way. This happens often even in well-controlled cases of long-standing diabetes.
Gastroparesis can be treated by dietary adjustments, such as avoiding high-fibre or high-fat meals, medicine, or surgery.
If the nerves in your digestive tract are damaged, you may have symptoms similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Damage to the nerves in your stomach can lead to additional major problems of diabetes, such as kidney malfunction and retinopathy, or damage to your eyes. This is caused by high blood glucose levels, which deposit onto the nerves.
Medication that stimulates gastric emptying, dietary changes to reduce fat and fibre intake, and other measures may be used as treatment.