Diabetes and gastroparesis

I have had diabetes since 1991 and have always had good control.  I went on the pump in 1998 and since then, my A1cs have all been less than 7.  Recently I was told I have gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying).  The doctor told me it was just part of diabetes.  Growing up, I never heard of this, but now I am feeling very frustrated and helpless because this is a condition that causes misery. 

Does anyone out there have gastroparesis too?  If so, what do you do to treat it?  I've read that Reglan is too dangerous to take.  If anyone can help me or can relate to my problem, I'd sure appreciate it!!

i have gastroparesis too. reglan isn't necessarily too dangerous to take (we have several patients in the hospital who use it), but it has the potential for some nasty side effects. i briefly took reglan and stopped it because of the side effects. you can also take erythromycin (not sure on the spelling) for gastroparesis. it's actually an antibiotic, but it also speeds up stomach emptying. one of the most important things to remember is to stop eating as soon as you start to feel full. continuing to eat once you reach that point will bring on all the nasty parts of gastroparesis.

eating small, frequent meals helps. avoiding things that are really high in fat, protein, and fiber will help too. you can have foods with fat, protein, and fiber just space them out throughout the day so you aren't getting too much of them at one time. things like red meat and dairy also slow down digestion, so consuming small portions of these spread out throughout the day will help as well. carbonated beverages can create gas in your stomach and make you feel more full. take small sips and try to avoid using a straw to help avoid lots of excess gas.

when it comes to eating meals, i will break mine up throughout the day. for example, if my lunch consists of a sandwich, potato chips, an apple, and carrot sticks i will eat the sandwich and the carrot sticks at noon (or whenever lunch time is) then eat the potato chips and apple 2 hours later. when eating small meals frequently, you don't feel hungry all the time, so you have less risk of overindulging and then being miserable. there really are no foods you can't have. as long as you control how much of it you eat at one time, you won't have too many side effects.

let me know if you have more questions. i have had gastroparesis for about 8 years and eating this way has helped me a lot. i don't take medicine for it. i am able to control it through modifying my foods.

What are the symptons of gastroparesis?  I have stomache problems and have wondered if I have this too.  When I mention my stomache pain to the Dr, he just said that was probably what was going on with me since I have been a T1 for 22 years.  Is there any test that can be done to make sure that is what is happening?

they can do some xray photos of your digestion (i've done this twice).

gastroparesis is a full feeling after eating, even when consuming very little. the fullness can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. it's very slow digestion, so you may notice your blood sugars dropping low after meals and then spiking very high - this is because the food is digesting slow, so the insulin goes to work right away on food that hasn't been broken down yet. so your BGs drop because of too much insulin, then rise because when the food does digest there is no insulin to act on it.

there are more symptoms i can't think of at the moment, but it's mostly uncomfortable. i've always described it as feeling like i have a brick in my stomach.

here is a website with some information: https://health.google.com/health/ref/Gastroparesis

I never had the fullness feeling or any pain or vomitting.  I just had what felt like a lump in my throat.  I went to a GI doc and he did an upper GI endoscopy.  He said the good news was I didn't have gastroparesis, and it was just reflux.  He gave me a proton pump inhibitor and I was great for two weeks.  Then the feeling came back and I called my doc.  He told me it was gastroparesis and I asked for a stomach emptying scan because I wanted to be sure.  He didn't want to do it, but I really wanted it.  The scan showed that after an hour, my stomach had emptied 34% of the radioactive oatmeal.  He said normal is 60% after an hour.  He was surprised I wasn't vomitting and that I was feeling good.  Get this scan done if possible so you know exactly what is going on.

i had that scan but it was radioactive eggs (i'm allergic to oatmeal). they told me at that time i had slower digestion with liquids than i did with regular foods. then a couple years later i had a barium swallow completed where they followed the food all the way from my esophagus to my large intestine. there they just said i had all around slow digestion. like i said, i don't take meds for it. i am able to control it through diet.

I wanted to tell you thanks for the info you shared with me on this condition.  It has helped me out alot!  The end of May was busy for me as a teacher, so i didn't get a chance to thank you earlier!!

hey, no problem. glad i was able to help you out some. i know how much of struggle it can be to try to control diabetes + whatever else we might have. glad you made it through the school year :o) i have about 3 weeks of school left myself, then i'll be finished.

What kind of school are you in?  College or are you a teacher?  Whatever it is, good luck with your last three weeks!

i went in to teaching originally (i was licensed in iowa), and now i'm a student. i'll be a dietitian in just a couple weeks!

Hey C,

   I went to my endo yesterday and told him about my gastroparesis and he asked me if I had any foot and leg problems.  He said that the stomach problem and foot/leg problems usually go together.  Do you have foot/leg problems or just the gastro?


i have just the gastro, luckily. nothing has spread to my feet/hands/legs. i have pinched nerves in my shoulders so i get a lot of hand problems, but it's unrelated to the diabetes. i'm hoping that by regaining control the last few years, i can prevent further nerve damage.

There is a medication that can be ordered from Canada, called Domperidone.  It works the same way that Reglan does without the awful side effects! My doctor just put me on Azithromycin 200mg, I take two teaspoonfuls a half hour before breakfast every morning. I seem to be emptying much better with this med. This condition has affected my life terribly, I used to be very active, but now i have no energy. Gastroparesis causes your body to not absorb the nutrients that we need. Anemia and ostoperosis are some of the conditions Gastroparesis causes. I also have severe bloating in my abdomen, which i find to be the most uncomfortable part of this disease. I could go on and on, I feel so bad for everyone who has this complication. I always worried about kidney failure or peripheral neuropathy, not neuropathy of the stomach. Unbelievable!!! If you have any more questions feel free to ask. I'm sorry to sound soo negative,I'm just very frustrated!

I am going to be tested for this in a couple weeks. Yuck, another thing! I always assumed I was tired and yucky feeling because of my thyroid, and that's probably part of it, but it takes me days to digest food so my doctor wanted to see what was up. I've just gotten used to it! I have had some nausea in the evenings for the last few months as well. I am nervous about the test just because I don't know what to expect. And reading about the possible TD symptoms from Reglan make me think I need to change my diet. I eat high fiber because I always thought that would help, but I guess not!


I am new to Juvenation.  I also have gastroparesis and have been on Domperidone for many years now.  For the most part it does do the job it is supposed to.  I am finding that the older I get, the more the gastroparesis acts up with stress.  Any suggestions on how to deal with this?  I typically try to take Zofran at the first sign of being nautious.  But I'm trying to figure out preventative things to do so my stomach doesn't get freaked out!  I do a lot of different exercise during the week...pilates, yoga, step aerobics, walking....I also eat small meals through the day.

How did the test go?  I was eating a high fiber, whole grain diet when my symptoms started too.  I went to another doctor, a better doctor, and he told me mine may or may not be gastroparesis.  He said he questioned the diagnosis because the first endoscopy showed no food in my stomach, which showed that my stomach emptied the food.  He also said because I don't have any other nerve problems, then he's not quite sure either.  Also, I have not vomitted chunks of food either.  That made me feel better, but I still have the weird feeling in my gut every now and then.  He said it could be slow gastric emptying with esophagitis.  I am taking Prevacid daily to prevent heartburn and Tums as needed.  I found eating certain foods make my stomach worse (like red meat and pizza)  and exercising makes it feel better.  i don't want to take Reglan, even though my new gastro said it's safe to take.  He said it's been on the market for over 50 years and the TD symptoms only occur for those who take very high doses for lots of years.  I'm still skeptical of it with all the tv commercials on about it.  I justt take it day to day and am thankful for the good days.

Oh, and another person i talked to said that when it flares up to eat very little solid foods that day and to drink more liquids until it feels better.  I've done this and it does help.  Drinking Glucerna, V8 Fusion, chocolate milk, and eating canned pears and ice cream get me through those tough days. 

Hi, I also have gastroparisis. I've had diabetes since I was 13. I take reglan, and it works fine with me. Talk more with your doctor. Good luck.


Hi Kecia,  I have gastroparesis. The main symptoms I had was nausea, diarrhea, and vomitting. What kind of stomach issues are you having?  I've had diabetes now for 27 years. Talk some more with your doctor. Good luck.  ~Kelly


How long have you had diabetes? gastroparesis?  HOw long have you been on Reglan?  Just curious because I have good days and bad days with this problem.

Hi Paul, I've had diabetes 27 years now. I was diagnosed with gastroparesis 2 years ago, and was put on reglan right away. I still had nausea problems in the beginning with nausea, so my doctor increased my dose, and I'm fine now. No side affects either luckily. What do you mean, "good days and bad days."             ~Kelly