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September 9, 2000

Complications

Question from Great Falls, Montana, USA:

I am 34 years old and have had diabetes for 16 years. My hemoglobin A1cs have been in the normal range forever. I have just been diagnosed with gastroparesis, and I am confused as to why I got it with such good control. The only symptoms I have are nausea. I am taking E-Mycin, but I still have nausea. What is going to happen with me now, am I going to start falling apart? I am so scared because I have a seven year old daughter and just want to watch her grow up and I want to feel good again. I got this nausea after I had the flu a year ago and the nausea has never gone away. The tests that were done were endoscopy and gastric emptying study. What is the prognosis for gastroparesis?

Answer:

If your symptoms started after a flu and you have had such good control with no other complications of diabetes, it is possible that your nausea may be due to some other problem such as lactose intolerance, hiatus hernia, or gastritis. You might also want to discuss with your doctor getting a hydrogen breath test to rule out lactose intolerance and/or a trial of medication for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux before ascribing your nausea to gastroparesis. Some people with diabetes, have mild delayed emptying from the stomach on nuclear scan, but no symptoms, so all these studies have to be interpreted in light of the clinical symptoms.

TGL