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When Diabetes Causes Stomach Problems

Treatment continued...

Also, talk with your doctor about whether stopping or changing any medications that might worsen gastroparesis, such as some antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, or certain diabetes drugs.

For some people with gastroparesis, these medications and procedures may help:

  • Metoclopramide (Reglan): You take this drug before you eat, and it causes your stomach muscles to move to help food leave your stomach. Reglan may also help prevent nausea and vomiting. Side effects include diarrhea and other, sometimes serious, side effects.
  • Erythromycin: This antibiotic also causes the stomach to move food out. Side effects include diarrhea and development of resistant bacteria.
  • Domperidome (Motilium): This medication manages problems in the upper part of your GI system that are linked to diabetic gastroparesis. Side effects include headache.
  • Dramamine (dimenhydrinate): This is an over-the-counter antihistamine that helps prevent nausea and vomiting. Side effects include drowsiness and thickening of bronchial mucus.
  • Compazine (prochlorperazine): This medication helps manage nausea and vomiting. Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, blurry vision, skin reactions, and low blood pressure.
  • Zofran (ondansetron): This drug blocks chemicals in the brain and stomach that cause nausea and vomiting. Side effects include headache, fatigue, and constipation.
  • Gastric electrical stimulation: This surgically implanted neurostimulator sends out brief, low-energy impulses to the stomach to improve nausea and vomiting.
  • Feeding tube placement:  A surgeon inserts a tube through the abdominal wall directly into the small intestine. You are fed specially made liquid meals through the tube. This is only done in extreme cases.

Diet Changes to Make

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. You'll have less food in your stomach, so you won't feel as full. It will be easier for the food to leave your stomach.

Also, pay attention to the texture of food. Liquids and foods that are easy to digest are a good idea.  For example, choose applesauce instead of whole apples.

Avoid foods that are high in fat, which can slow down digestion, and fiber, which is hard to digest.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on October 22, 2014
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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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