Gastrointestinal function in diabetes is affected regardless of asymptomatic appearance

Anne-Marie Wegeberg, Davide Bertoli, Niels Eskjaer, B Brock, Asbjørn Mohr Drewes, Christina Brock


BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal dysmotility may exist without concomitant symptoms. We hypothesize that asymptomatic individuals with diabetes have altered gastrointestinal function associated with age, cardiac vagal tone and glycaemic control.

METHODS: One hundred fifty-four asymptomatic participants (61 with type 1 diabetes (T1D), 70 type 2 diabetes (T2D) and 23 healthy volunteers (HV)) underwent wireless motility capsule investigation. Transit times, motility indices and pH were retrieved. Age, cardiac vagal tone, glucose and haemoglobin A1c levels were collected.

RESULTS: In T1D, prolongation of colonic (p = 0.03) and whole-gut transit times (p = 0.04) were shown. Transpyloric pH rise was decreased in T1D (p = 0.001) and T2D (p = 0.007) and was associated with cardiac vagal tone (p = 0.03) or glucose (p = 0.04) and haemoglobin A1c (p = 0.005). Ileocaecal pH fall was decreased in T2D (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Gastrointestinal function was altered in asymptomatic individuals with diabetes. These findings call for further investigations of gastrointestinal function in order to identify risk factors or even predictors for diabetic enteropathy, particularly when glycaemic control is impaired.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)505-512
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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