Diabetes and the gastrointestinal tract

Gastrointestinal (GI) complications of diabetes mellitus are common and result in a significant diminution in health-related quality of life. Diabetes can affect almost every part of GI tract from the oesophagus to the rectum, and causes a variety of symptoms including reflux, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation. Diabetes-induced GI complications are collectively referred to as diabetic enteropathy. Over recent years, the investigation of the underlying pathogenesis of diabetes-induced GI complications has provided objective evidence of abnormalities in the enteric nervous system, which is essential for normal motility within the GI tract.

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