Abnormalities of the migrating motor complex in diabetics with autonomic neuropathy and diarrhea

Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
C P DooleyJ E Valenzuela


Diarrhea is a common symptom in long-standing diabetes. The pathogenesis of this diarrhea remains obscure, although it appears to be related to the development of autonomic neuropathy, which may cause several abnormalities including altered gut motility. We studied fasting gastrointestinal motility for a mean of 210 min in a group of 12 type-II diabetics with diarrhea. All patients had peripheral neuropathy and symptoms of autonomic neuropathy. Their motor activity was compared with that of a group of six normal volunteers. In addition, gastrointestinal transit time was assessed by the hydrogen breath test. The presence of bacterial overgrowth was assessed by the hydrogen breath test and culture of jejunal secretions. The diabetics showed grossly disordered motor activity. There was a complete absence of phase-III activity in two patients. Most phase III's commenced in the distal duodenum or jejunum. The phase-III component was often of short duration at each recording site. There was increased velocity of propagation between sites. Continuous phase-II activity was noted in some patients. Antral activity was absent or reduced during phase II. Gastrointestinal transit time was significantly prolonged in the diabetics. Bacterial ...Continue Reading


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