Gastrointestinal symptoms may be linked to type 2 diabetes

Several studies have reported that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms may be closely linked to type 2 diabetes. However, more evidence is needed, as epidemiological data has been somewhat inconsistent and the frequency of upper and lower GI symptoms varies between different ethnic groups and populations.

One article published in the April issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology found evidence that suggests the association between stomach issues and type 2 diabetes. Lead investigator J.H. Kim and his colleagues examined diabetic individuals who experienced GI symptoms.

They compared these individuals to age- and sex-matched controls and measured the frequency of upper and lower GI issues. Out of the 190 patients that they examined, 72 percent experienced overall symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract. Meanwhile, 43 percent of the participants reported upper GI discomfort and 58 percent had made lower GI complaints.

The risk of only upper GI symptoms was almost twice as high for diabetic patients than the people in the control group.

The researchers concluded that upper GI symptoms may be independently linked to poor glycemic control. They suggest that chronic problems in the upper GI could be reversed with the tight control of blood glucose, but add that more research is needed to determine this.