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The Question
Tue Oct 11 20:59:43 UTC 2011

I have DPN and am experiencing the closing of esophageal tract when I am eating in the late afternoon. I was wanting to know what to do. Can you help?
Category: Neuropathy

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I have had DPN for about 13 years and am learning how to cope with this affliction and am a little worried about any new symptoms that I encounter. The closing of my esophageal tract makes me worry quite a bit. Can you help me?
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Expert Answers (2)
2011-11-05 14:12:04.0

The closing of the esophageal sphincter can be caused by several factors, neuropathy can be considered one cause. This type of neuropathy comes from neurons that run to the esophagus and can mis-fire. This condition needs further investigation for a proper diagnosis. I am not certain you have been to see a GI specialist to rule out other causes. If your health care team is satisfied that neuropathy is the root cause, optimal blood sugar control is one of the best ways to keep the situation from getting worse or in some cases may result in symptom improvement. Proper diagnosis is essential. A GI specialist may not be a bad idea; oftentimes they may offer some potential solutions such as types of foods that aggravate the condition or in some cases, even surgical procedures. Stay well and let us know your progress!!
Answered By: susan sloane
Accreditations: B.S.,Rph.,C.D.E.,Nutritionist
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2011-10-20 12:27:48.0

Hello Larry Cates; Thank you for consulting with dLife.com. Diabetes Peripheral Neuropathy, (DPN), a very complicated condition and essentially will impact the entire body. You inquire of "what help" is available when DPN effects the gastro-intestinal system (?) The symptoms you mention are akin to those identified with gastro-paresis, or a gastro-esophageal reflux due to spasms in the stomach area. The disorder is sometimes difficult to diagnose. The impact of gastro-paresis can make diabetes worse by making blood glucose control more difficult. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise, or can be erratic in absorption. Since gastro-paresis makes stomach emptying unpredictable, a person's blood glucose levels can be difficult to control. Only your PCP can diagnose the condition and identify treatments available, (dietary, Rx or manipulations).
Some dietary changes might help: 5-6 mini-meals per day, avoid overly fatty-greasy foods and excessively fibrous foods. Liquid modified complete meals provide all the nutrients found in solid foods, can pass through the stomach more easily and quickly.

To control blood glucose, you may need to

  • take insulin more often or change the type of insulin you take
  • take your insulin after you eat instead of before
  • check your blood glucose levels frequently after you eat and administer insulin whenever necessary. Continue to be your best, regards Sue
    Additional readings.
    Additional readings.
    Additional readings.
  • Answered By: Susan Throop
    Accreditations: RD, CDE, MA
    Sources Show

    Community Answers (0)

    *** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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