Gastroenterological complications of diabetes

What are the gastroenterological complications associated with diabetes? 

Diabetic complications related to the gastrointestinal (GI) system include constipation, heartburn (i.e., gastroesophageal reflux), delayed gastric emptying (i.e., gastroparesis), dyspepsia, abdominal pain, and watery diarrhea (i.e., diabetic enteropathy). Development of these symptoms is associated with longer duration of diabetes, poor glycemic control, and autonomic neuropathy of the enteric nervous system. Erratic absorption of food and wide blood sugar fluctuations are noted with gastroparesis and diabetic enteropathy. 

Bacterial overgrowth and celiac disease can also contribute to the development of diarrhea in these patients. Celiac disease is typically associated with autoimmune conditions like type 1 diabetes. Diabetics are also at increased risk of certain types of cancers involving the GI system (i.e., liver, pancreas, colon, and rectum).


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