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Diagnosing Diabetic Gastroparesis

Diagnosing Diabetic Gastroparesis With a Radioisotope Gastric-Emptying Scan

You will eat food that contains a radioisotope, a slightly radioactive substance that will show up on the scan. The dose of radiation from the radioisotope is small and not dangerous. After eating, you will lie under a machine that detects the radioisotope and shows an image of the food in the stomach and how quickly it leaves the stomach. Diabetic gastroparesis is diagnosed if more than half of the food remains in the stomach after 2 hours.

Using Gastric Manometry in Diagnosing Diabetic Gastroparesis

This test measures electrical and muscular activity in the stomach. The doctor passes a thin tube down the throat into the stomach. The tube contains a wire that takes measurements of the stomach's electrical and muscular activity as it digests liquids and solid food. The measurements show how the stomach is working and whether there is any delay in digestion.

Diagnosing Diabetic Gastroparesis With Blood Tests

The doctor may also order laboratory tests to check blood counts and to measure chemical and electrolyte levels.

Using Upper Endoscopy in Diagnosing Diabetic Gastroparesis

To rule out causes of gastroparesis other than diabetes, the doctor may do an upper endoscopy or an ultrasound.
After giving you a sedative, the doctor passes a long, thin tube called an endoscope through the mouth and gently guides it down the esophagus into the stomach. Through the endoscope, the doctor can look at the lining of the stomach to check for any abnormalities.

Diagnosing Diabetic Gastroparesis With Ultrasound

To rule out gallbladder disease or pancreatitis as a source of the problem, you may have an ultrasound test, which uses harmless sound waves to outline and define the shape of the gallbladder and pancreas.
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