Treating Diabetic Gastroparesis With Reglan
Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. It often occurs in people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Gastroparesis occurs when nerves to the stomach are damaged or stop working, as can happen if diabetes is poorly controlled over a long period of time.
Signs and symptoms of diabetic gastroparesis include:
- Vomiting of undigested food
- An early feeling of fullness when eating
- Weight loss
- Abdominal bloating
- Erratic blood glucose levels
- Lack of appetite
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Spasms of the stomach wall.
If food lingers too long in the stomach, it can cause problems, like bacterial overgrowth from the fermentation of food. Also, the food can harden into solid masses called bezoars that may cause nausea, vomiting, and obstruction in the stomach. Bezoars can be dangerous if they block the passage of food into the small intestine.
Diabetic gastroparesis can make diabetes worse by adding to the difficulty of controlling blood glucose. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise. Since diabetic gastroparesis makes stomach emptying unpredictable, a person's blood glucose levels can be erratic and difficult to control.
Reglan is approved for treating diabetic gastroparesis for two to eight weeks.