Diabetes can cause damage to blood cells, making it difficult to transfer nutrients to nerves. Sometimes, people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes’ vagus nerve becomes damaged. This is what allows the body to digest food (ADA, 2014).
Therefore, when the vagus nerve is damaged, the person no longer digests food at a normal rate (ADA, 2014). This causes bacteria build up, high blood sugar, and several other serious disorders. The name of this condition is gastroparesis.
The damage is normally caused due to high blood sugar levels over a long period of time (ADA, 2014). It is of the upmost importance to always try and maintain your blood sugar inside of the target range.
There are several symptoms to gastroparesis. According to the American Diabetes Association, ADA, the symptoms vary on severity depending on the person (ADA, 2014). So, if you are discovering a few of these symptoms, it is best to go see a doctor.
A common symptom is heartburn. If you are starting to have heartburn more than normal, and you have had high blood sugar, it would be best to watch your health closely. This will help you to stay on top of what is going on inside of your body.
Nausea is also a very common symptom. It can develop due to bezoars, hardened food that causes blockages inside of the stomach or intestines.
If you are vomiting food that has not been digested completely, you should go see a healthcare provider right away, especially if you have been struggling with high blood sugar levels. This is a big sign of damage to the vagus nerve, causing gastroparesis to take place.
With gastroparesis, food sits undigested inside of your stomach and takes a lot longer to digest. Therefore, if you are getting full a lot earlier during your meals, this is a sign that you have undigested food being left in your stomach.
Weight loss and abdominal bloating are also to big signs of gastroparesis (APA, 2014).
One huge warning sign is “erratic blood glucose levels” (APA, 2014). If your blood sugar is spiking randomly during the day, this is a big indicator that your food is not digesting properly. Your blood sugar goes up when the food you eat enters into the small intestine. If you are having trouble digesting, it will not reach the intestines until way after your meals.
ADA also lists a “lack of appetite, gastroesophageal reflux, [and] spasms of the stomach wall” as warning signs of gastroparesis.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it would be best to check with your doctor and become tested. This is not a condition that you want to leave lingering.
Gastroparesis makes it very difficult to control your blood sugar levels. Therefore, take it very seriously. Make sure that you are keeping your blood glucose levels inside of their target range, so you will be less likely to develop this condition.
Symptoms range from mild to severe. If you are experiencing a few of them, then contact your doctor right away to be tested.
American Diabetes Association. (2014). Gastroparesis. American Diabetes Association. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/gastroparesis.html