Diabetes Stomach Pain: Causes and Ways to Find Relief

Diabetes Stomach Pain: Causes and Ways to Find Relief

You’re consuming more healthfully, taking medications as prescribed — yet maybe your gut whines in demonstration. Here are some reasons and some methods to find relief for stomach pain triggered by diabetes-related problems.

Diabetes and Stomach Pain

Managing diabetes typically brings changes in what we eat and the medications we take. You might likewise observe some modifications in how your gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, feels, sounds, and responds.

Modifications in eating

You are most likely making changes in eating habits, consisting of more foods rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and beans. Fiber can be filling without including undesirable calories, and it can assist enhance abnormal cholesterol levels. However there may be a couple of uh-ohs if you rapidly increase the amount you eat. “Gas and bloating are a side effect of fiber,” says Judith Wylie-Rosett, Ed.D., R.D., teacher of health promo and nutrition research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. “Increasing your consumption gradually may help.” She suggests adding legumes, such as beans and lentils, to increase dietary fiber. “Throwing out the water you soak them in and providing an extra rinse prior to cooking may also help decrease the gas and bloating,” she says.

Glucose-lowering medications

A number of prescription medications used to lower blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes can stimulate your gut. Experts tend to suggest that you start with a low dosage and gradually increase it based on your supplier’s instructions.


Metformin, the common starting medication in type 2 diabetes to bring blood glucose levels in variety, can cause heartburn, nausea, or diarrhea. Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the diabetes division at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, states, “I aim to use metformin in all of my patients who have type 2 diabetes. When there is an issue, it is diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. There are 5-10 percent of individuals who simply can’t tolerate it.”

Typically, metformin is started at a low dosage and increased over a number of weeks as required. Irl Hirsch, M.D., professor of medication at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, typically begins metformin at 500 milligrams each day with the supper meal however may begin as low as 250 milligrams.

Sue Margulis, PWD type 2, of Memphis experienced queasiness and diarrhea from metformin. “I discovered that I need to have food in my stomach. Not simply a snack; it has to be a square meal,” Sue states. “I can take it during my meal or right after I eat, however I cannot endure it on an empty stomach.” Most people discover that when they surpass the preliminary start-up, they do great taking the tablet with food or without.

See also: Metformin and Diarrhea

A particular type of metformin may assist tame queasiness and heartburn. “Using the extended-release (ER) can be useful for some individuals,” says Louis Aronne, M.D., creator of weight-control program BMIQ (bmiq.com). “I increase it very slowly, waiting a couple of weeks — even a month — before increasing the dose.”

Hirsh states, “I’ve seen people who have done fine on metformin for several years, then they get diarrhea. I stop [the metfomin], and it’s gone.” He might return to a lower dosage to confirm that the pill was the culprit. “Some patients find they have no issues with a lower dosage however on the greater dose they do, even in some cases when they tolerated the higher dose fine in the past.”

Blood sugar levels

Blood glucose, whether incredibly high or incredibly low, can add to GI distress.

Injectables and Blood Sugar Levels

A more recent class of injectable medications, GLP-1 agonists Byetta and Victoza, can cause nausea and vomiting. Prescribers agree that this, too, is frequently dose-related.

“Start low and go slow,” DeFronzo states. “Byetta should be taken 30-45 minutes prior to a meal. Taking it right prior to or with the meal helps some. Then I’ll gradually move it back to 30-45 minutes before consuming to get the best action.” Aronne has actually found that some people tolerate one injectable medication much better than another, so he will have his patients try different brands.

Due to the fact that GLP-1 agonists decrease stomach emptying, they can cause a sensation of fullness. “[Individuals] may think something is wrong, but they’re simply complete and not used to that feeling,” DeFronzo says. The experience can avoid overindulging if one responds and stops consuming.

“I cannot eat large amounts of food any longer,” says Martin Blank, PWD type 2, of Brooklyn Heights, New York. “It used to be I might never get filled up. Now I get this complete sensation. Once that hits, I pick up my food to eat more and I cannot.”

“Some people like that sensation; some do not,” Aronne says. “It’s all about what somebody can tolerate. You cannot constantly go by the book; you pass the person.”

High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)

Extremely high blood sugar levels can cause two extremely major conditions: diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) for PWDs type 1 and hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state (HHS) for PWDs type 2. DKA is the body’s reaction to too little insulin; stored fats are broken down as an alternate fuel source, and harmful acids (ketones) build up in the blood stream. HHS, which is most likely to affect an elderly or undiagnosed individual with type 2, involves extensive dehydration and confusion in thoughts, speech, and/or motor skills. Symptoms of both might include abdominal pain or cramping, queasiness, and vomiting. Both conditions require emergency situation healthcare; please look for assistance if you have such symptoms with high blood glucose or if you have type 1 diabetes and have actually evaluated your blood or urine and found a large amount of ketones. Insulin and intravenous fluids may be needed.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Avoiding meals when you are taking specific blood glucose-lowering medications, such as sulfonylureas or insulin, or taking too much rapid-acting insulin for the carbohydrate grams you eat can cause some individuals to have low blood sugar levels.

Queasiness can be a symptom of a low. If you have no idea, ask your provider what number signifies a low for you and how to treat it. Also ask if a glucagon injection kit is right for you, in case you cannot keep down food or liquids.

Weight reduction Surgery

Endocrinologist Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., says bariatric surgery increases GLP-1 levels in PWDs type 2 and might lead to “the exact same nausea and vomiting symptoms people might feel from taking GLP-1 agonists.” The surgery also increases leptin levels in the gut, which reduces cravings.

The sensation of fullness after bariatric surgery is meant; nausea is not. “Early satiety (a feeling of fullness) is various from nausea. If people are nauseated, it’s typically because they’ve consumed excessive,” says endocrinologist Irl Hirsch, M.D. “If this occurs typically, it worries me. I don’t wish to see them sabotage their surgery by eating way too much.”

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