Delayed emptying of the stomach is known as gastroparesis. Too much sugar in the blood is usually responsible for this condition. Diabetes damages the nerves of the body, leading to a number of health complications. Gastroparesis is one such complication that occurs when the vagus nerve is damaged.
This impairs the normal functioning of the stomach muscles, thereby slowing down transportation of food from the stomach to the small intestine. Diabetic gastroparesis can be prevented by keeping the blood sugar level under control. Through dietary changes, physical activities and diabetes medications you can prevent damage to the vagus nerve.
Tips to Prevent Diabetic Gastroparesis
Blood Sugar Management Diet
The diets of diabetics influence their blood sugar levels. Diabetics should therefore carefully plan their daily diet. The goal of a blood sugar management diet is to provide the essential nutrition and meet the calorie requirement without elevating the blood sugar level and boosting the body weight.
Although carbohydrates are the main energy source of the body, in diabetics, carbohydrates tend to push up the blood sugar level. To keep the blood sugar level under control, diabetics should select sources of carbohydrates that are gradually digested. Complex carbohydrates present in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes are best suited for diabetics.
Intake of large amounts of dietary fats tends to reduce sensitivity to insulin, thereby impairing sugar absorption. Limiting intake of saturated fats and maintaining appropriate balance in unsaturated and saturated fat consumption help to maintain a healthy lipid profile. Fats in the diet of a diabetes patient should comprise of monounsaturated fats primarily found in olive oil, avocado, vegetable oils and nuts and polyunsaturated fats present in fish oil, flaxseeds and walnuts. Healthy sources of proteins such as fish, legumes, poultry and lean meat are suitable for diabetics.
Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Maintaining a normal body mass index helps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes related complications. A healthy body weight also helps to keep the blood sugar level under control by improving sensitivity to insulin.
Moderate physical activities at least for 30 minutes each day will help to keep your blood sugar level under control.
Take Medicines as Directed
Remember to take medications as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may consider changing the medicine or the dosage of the drug to normalize the blood sugar level.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Level
Diabetics should keep track of changes in their blood sugar levels. Diabetic gastroparesis can be prevented as long as your blood sugar level is in the normal range. Diabetics should aim for blood sugar levels between 70 and 130 mg/dl before meals, and below 180 mg/dl one to two hours after a meal.
Along with the regular blood sugar tests, diabetics should check the A1C level in the blood at least twice each year. The target A1C of diabetics should be less than 7 percent. When the results of the blood tests show that your blood sugar level is higher than the target level, necessary changes should be made in the diet and medications to restore the normal blood sugar level and reduce the risk of developing gastroparesis.