A team from Australia determined whether gastrointestinal symptoms (GI) are more frequent in persons with diabetes, particularly in those with poor glycemic control.
A total of 15,000 were mailed a questionnaire, to which 60% responded. This contained validated questions on the frequency of troublesome GI symptoms within the past 3 months, diabetic status, and self-reported glycemic control.
The prevalence of 16 symptoms and 5 symptom complexes, reported to occur often or very often, was compared using logistic regression analysis.
Overall, 8657 eligible subjects responded. Of these, 423 (5%) reported having diabetes.
|GI symptoms greater in diabetics with poor glycemic control.|
|Archives of Internal Medicine|
Most of the subjects (95%) had type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Adjusting for age and sex, all 16 symptoms and the 5 symptom complexes were significantly more frequent in subjects with diabetes compared with controls.
The researchers found that an increased prevalence rate of symptoms was significantly associated with poorer levels of glycemic control. However, this was not associated with duration of diabetes or type of diabetic treatment.
Dr Peter Bytzer, of the University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, concluded on behalf of his colleagues, "Diabetes mellitus is associated with an increased prevalence of upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms.
"This effect may be linked to poor glycemic control, but not to duration of diabetes or type of treatment."