The prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms is increased in diabetes.
However, the natural history is understood poorly and any impact of glycemic control is controversial.
Dr Carolyn Quan and colleagues from the United Kingdom quantified changes in gastrointestinal symptom status and glycemic control among a population sample of patients with diabetes.
The team obtained data on 10 chronic gastrointestinal symptom complexes from a validated questionnaire at baseline and after 12 months.
|The most prevalent GI symptom included abdominal bloating/distension in 35%|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Changes in acute and chronic glycemic control were classified as always adequate, variable, or always inadequate.
Acute glycemic control was assessed by fasting plasma glucose, and chronic glycemic control by a validated self-report 5-point graded scale.
The researchers found baseline and follow-up data available in 136 individuals with diabetes.
The most prevalent gastrointestinal symptom complexes were abdominal bloating/distension in 35%, ulcer-like dyspepsia in 35%, and irritable bowel syndrome in 27%.
Overall, between 7% and 24% reported a change in gastrointestinal symptoms with the largest change in irritable bowel syndrome, bloating/distension, and ulcer-like dyspepsia.
The team found those who had a change in abdominal bloating over 12 months were more likely to have increased their mean fasting plasma glucose.
Contrary to expectations, consistently poor self-reported glycemic control was only weakly associated with less persistent abdominal pain, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating.
The research team found that acute glycemic control was not significantly related to any gastrointestinal symptoms.
Dr Quan‘s team concluded, "We were unable to demonstrate any association between worsening gastrointestinal symptoms and glycemic control."