Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

When Diabetes Causes Stomach Problems

Over time, diabetes can affect many parts of your body. One of those is the vagus nerve, which controls how quickly your stomach empties. When this nerve is damaged, your digestion slows down and food stays in your stomach longer than it should.

This is a condition called gastroparesis. It can make you feel queasy and vomit. It's also bad for your blood sugar levels.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Sam Talbot Shares Diabetes-Friendly Recipes

Sam Talbot, runner-up and fan favorite from season two of Bravo's "Top Chef," is former executive chef of Imperial No. Nine in New York's Mondrian SoHo hotel and the Surf Lodge in Montauk, N.Y. Talbot, 34, also lives with type 1 diabetes. In his cookbook The Sweet Life, published last year, he shares his personal health and wellness philosophy, as well as some of his favorite diabetes-friendly recipes. Here he dishes even more about how he stays healthy. What's your approach to cooking and food? I'm...

Read the Sam Talbot Shares Diabetes-Friendly Recipes article > >

Although it's more common in people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 can also get it.

Most people with gastroparesis have had diabetes for at least 10 years and also have other complications related to the disease.

Symptoms

You may have:

Complications

Food that stays in your stomach too long can spoil and lead to the growth of bacteria.

Undigested food can harden and form a lump called a bezoar. It can block your stomach and keep food from moving into the small intestine.

Gastroparesis can make it hard to control your blood sugar. When food finally does leave the stomach and enter the small intestine, your blood sugar levels rise.

Vomiting can also leave you dehydrated.

1 | 2 | 3

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

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.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article