Diabetic Gastroparesis Symptoms

The person who experiences diabetic gastroparesis symptoms will find that he has delayed gastric emptying, or in other words, the stomach takes too long to empty itself. When food enters the stomach, the organ begins to contract to move the food down to the small intestine to further digest the nutrients. The vagus nerve is what controls these contractions. If this nerve is damaged, then the process does not follow the normal order, causing many problems. Food moves too slowly or even stops. Some of the causes for this disorder are surgery on the stomach, an infection from a virus, an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, side effects of some drugs, gastro-reflux disease, muscle disorders, or even hypothyroidism. But the most common form of the disease is found in diabetics. That is because high blood sugar levels result in nerve damage in the body, and sometimes that nerve is the vagus. Treating the diabetes is the basis for diabetic gastroparesis treatment.

What are diabetic gastroparesis symptoms? The patient can feel heartburn, pain in the upper part of the stomach, nausea and vomiting--even hours after eating a meal, and a feeling of fullness at the beginning of a meal. Other problems are unexpected weight loss, bloating, poor appetite, and spasms in the stomach muscles. When a person eats a good diet with plenty of fiber or a diet with fatty foods or drinks high in carbonation may find that this exacerbates the pain. There is a wide range of severity, with some people experiencing few problems and others with severe and often. For this reason, the condition may be difficult to diagnose. But the results of ignoring the pain can be severe. When food stays in the body too long, the result tends to grow bacteria, and fermenting. This can also form a solid mass and begin to block the digestive process. These obstructions are called bezoars, and can be dangerous.

When a person with diabetes has this condition, he may find that it is harder to control his blood sugar level. When food travels slowly down the digestive tract, more sugar is transferred to the blood vessels, changing the way a patient figures his dietetic inflow of carbohydrates. A doctor will diagnose this condition through first taking blood tests. After that, he may order an upper endoscopy. The patient is put under sedation, and a scope or long thin tube is inserted into the mouth, through the esophagus, and into the stomach so that the physician can view the condition of the organs. He will look at the stomach's lining and for any abnormalities. Or the doctor may order an ultrasound for the same reasons. This will also rule out gallbladder disease and pancreatitis. An ultrasound is a less-invasive test since the machine uses sound waves to take pictures of the internal organs. A third test is a barium x-ray. The patient is given a solution of barium to drink after he has fasted for twenty-four hours, emptying the digestive tract. The barium coats the digestive tract, helping the x-ray to highlight the system on the pictures. A person with diabetes has to be careful about going without food, so a medical professional will give clear directions on how to fast before the exam.

If the x-ray shows food in the stomach after the fasting, then the patient will likely need diabetic gastroparesis treatment. But an empty stomach doesn't mean that the person doesn't have the disease, so a second exam may be ordered. There are other ways of diagnosing the problem. Gastric emptying scintigraphy is when the person eats a bland meal, such as eggs, in which has been inserted a radioactive substance. This radioisotope shows up on scans. The exam shows how long it takes for the gastric organs to pass along the food. If more than 10 percent of the meal is still in the stomach after four hours, these are diabetic gastroparesis symptoms. Sometimes, a doctor will take a breath test to measure the presence of an isotope in carbon dioxide. This isotope is expelled when a person exhales and also shows how fast the meal is passing through the system. A new device that has just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration is called the SmartPill. It is a capsule that is swallowed by the patient. It moves through the digestive tract, sending information to a receiver worn around the waist or neck. Soon, the capsule is passed from the body in the stool. The patient takes the receiver back to the medical office, and the information is entered into a computer. The medical professionals then assess the progress of the disease. It truly is computer-age diabetic gastroparesis treatment!

Seeking diabetic gastroparesis treatment is essential for a long life. The Bible says of God's care for us, "Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth." (Jeremiah 33:6) Some of the treatments for this disease may be difficult, like inserting a feeding tube or taking medications for the length of life. However, the wise person will take care of her diabetes and also of the kind of diet that she ingests. Control of blood glucose levels is essential for good health. Eating more frequent and smaller meals will also help. A dietitian will advise on how to develop a meal regimen that will alleviate diabetic gastroparesis symptoms.

Signs Of Gestational Diabetes

Signs of gestational diabetes are sometimes not present at all, but some women experience excessive thirst and abnormally frequent urination as indications that there is something awry. Screening for this illness is a routine part of prenatal care for all women during pregnancy. Most doctors recommend a glucose challenge test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy because the condition can't usually be detected until then. If a patient is thought to be a high risk, however, the test may be done sooner. The test consists of drinking a sugar solution that tastes like an extra-sweet soda pop, then testing the blood an hour later. If the blood sugar is over 140 mg/dl, in the first test, a second test is done. After fasting overnight, the patient is given a highly concentrated glucose solution, and blood sugar levels are checked every hour for three hours. At least two instances of abnormally high blood sugar levels confirm the diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

Approximately four percent of all pregnant women experience signs of gestational diabetes in the United States each year. Since the signs of diabetes are so subtle, and no one knows what causes the disease, testing is very important during those weeks mentioned above. This condition occurs after the baby's body is formed, and is growing. For that reason, this illness does not cause the kinds of birth defects that are sometimes seen in babies whose mothers had the illness before pregnancy. Untreated or poorly controlled, this disease can hurt the baby. Throughout all of this experience, the Christian mother will be praying for hers and the baby's health while she follows doctor's instructions. She will expect her prayers to be answered. "I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. (Psalm 116:1)

When a mother-to-be exhibits signs of diabetes, the pancreas works overtime to produce insulin, but the insulin doesn't lower the blood glucose levels. Extra blood glucose in the mother results in the baby having high blood glucose levels too. Since the baby is getting more energy than it needs to grow and develop, the extra energy is stored as fat. This can lead to macrosomia, or a "fat" baby. These babies face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth. Newborns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth because of the extra insulin made by the pancreas. They are also at risk for breathing problems, obesity, and as adults may develop type 2 diabetes.

Treatment should begin immediately upon diagnosis. Controlling sugar intake is essential for the health of the baby and to avoid delivery complications. Most women showing signs of gestational diabetes find they can control their blood sugar with diet and exercise. There are those who may also need medication with the lifestyle changes. For both groups, monitoring blood sugar is the most important part of a treatment program because it lets the patient and her doctor know whether the blood sugar is within normal range. There seems to be good reason, based on a 2005 study, to aggressively treat patients with this illness. Aggressive treatment includes dietary advice, frequent blood glucose monitoring and insulin injections. Routine care doesn't always include insulin injections. The study found that women who received the aggressive treatment for signs of diabetes had significantly fewer childbirth problems, lower rates of depression, and enjoyed better health-related quality of life three months after giving birth than those receiving routine care.

The diabetic patient has to learn to monitor her blood sugar by drawing a drop of blood from a finger using a small needle, then placing the blood on a test strip inserted into a blood glucose meter--a small, computerized device that measures and displays the blood sugar level. This may be done four or five times a day because the levels change according to how much a person has had to eat, and even the time of day may influence the reading. The tests will reveal whether the patient is maintaining a healthy level or not. The doctor will also monitor blood sugar levels during labor. If the mother's blood sugar rises, so will the baby's, which could lead to low blood sugar right after birth. It's easy to see why addressing signs of gestational diabetes immediately is so important.

The diet for someone showing signs of diabetes should include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while cutting back on animal products and sweets. The doctor may recommend a dietitian who will work with the individual patient for meal plans that take into consideration her height, weight, exercise habits, food preferences, and the blood sugar level. Exercise along with the diet can prove very helpful in keeping blood sugar levels where they belong. Physical activity causes the sugar in the blood to move to cells where it's used for energy. Exercise helps prevent some of the common discomforts of pregnancy such as back pain, muscle cramps, swelling, etc., so there are plenty of good reasons to move as much as possible during this very important phase of a woman's life.

There will be close monitoring of the baby of a woman showing signs of gestational diabetes to be sure it is getting enough oxygen and nourishment, and to collect information about the baby's breathing, tone, movement, and the volume of amniotic fluid in the uterus. Most women with signs of diabetes deliver healthy babies in the normal way, but sometimes a cesarean delivery is necessary.

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