Diabetes can damages nerves in the strangest places. Each of us has a vagus nerve that sends signals between the brain, stomach, and intestines. One of those signals tells the stomach to push all of its contents into the intestines. When diabetic neuropathy damages the vagus nerve, the stomach can sit for a long time without passing the contents on down the line. This phenomenon is called diabetic gastroparesis.
Gastroparesis may be haunting you if you've been experiencing symptoms such as:
- Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux
- Vomiting of undigested food one to three hours after a meal
- Feeling full after you've only eaten a little
- Unexplained weight loss
- A bloated feeling
- Lack of appetite
- Spasms in your stomach
Sometimes these symptoms will come and go. If you identify any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor and tell him or her about the symptoms your recognize. Your doctor can do more tests to confirm or rule out gastroparesis. If treatment is necessary, there are a few options. The most common treatment is diet modification and eating smaller meals more frequently. You will also have better success if you are willing to eliminate some fat and milk from your diet. Choosing higher fiber foods also seems to help.