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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5050
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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I am a 66 yr. old male and have been diabetic since I was 20.

Customer Question

I am a 66 yr. old male and have been diabetic since I was 20. About 6 months ago I started getting severe diarrhea and vomiting. I would go to bed fine and wake up sick. The next day I would return to normal. About 4 to 6 weeks later it would happen again My MD told me because I have been diabetic for so long the nerve endings in my stomach may not be moving the food into my intestines. The smell when I burp and poop is awful. However most times I feel really good and am very active. Your thoughts?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 months ago.
I think your doctor is right that you might be experiencing late term effects from your longstanding diabetes. One is what we call gastroparesis, where the stomach get "lazy" in a sense from the high sugars and fails to empty promptly. This can lead to food staying in the stomach for a prolonged period resulting in nausea, vomiting, bad heartburn and bad breath. Another possibility that might be at play here is damage to the autonomic nervous system, the one that normally takes care of things like the movement of the bowels without our having to think about it. The "automatic" nature of these processes can get dysfunctional leading to diarrhea or constipation or a combination of both.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 months ago.
It's important in a situation like this to keep one's sugars under tight control and avoid large meals. It also helps to increase fiber in one's diet and consider taking an anticholinergic or antispasmodic agent at night to keep the bowels from being overactive (when there is diarrhea). It would also be wise to have a colonoscopy if you haven't done so in the past 5-7 years, as there may be another condition in the bowel causing or contributing to your symptoms. An added benefit of the colonoscopy is that the bowel prep is a form of colon cleansing that might help to reduce the bad smell you are experiencing.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 months ago.
Hi there. How are you doing today? Is there anything else I can help you with? Let me know, I would be happy to do what I can.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 5 months ago.
Hi Robert. Do you have any follow up questions concerning my reply? If your questions have been answered, please don't forget to provide a rating.Best wishes.