Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and diabetes mellitus: risk factors and mechanisms [ 2001 - 2003 ]

Also known as: Determinants of gastrointestinal symptoms in diabetes mellitus.

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Nicholas Talley (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Michael Horowitz

Brief description Why many people with diabetes mellitus are afflicted by gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms remains uncertain. Irreversible damage to the nerves controlling the gut (autonomic neuropathy) is often considered to be important. An alternative cause of increased GI symptomatology in diabetics is poor glucose control. Some studies have shown that acute shifts in glucose levels induce changes in the gut relevant to the onset of GI symptoms. For example, high glucose levels acutely cause slower stomach emptying times, leading to feelings of fullness. Though the effects of chronic glucose levels are yet to be properly explored, population data show that poor control in the long-term is related to an increase in symptoms. The aim of this prospective study is to determine the roles played by both autonomic neuropathy and glucose control in the development of GI symptoms among diabetics. All past research has been cross-sectional, and so cannot tell us if one or both of these factors cause GI problems in diabetes. For example, it is possible that autonomic neuropathy causes an increase in GI symptoms such as nausea and fullness, which in turn induces poor glucose control though lack of appetite or inadequate stomach emptying. Upon study inclusion, all study participants will undergo a series of autonomic tests. At 3 month intervals for a period of 30 months, they will be asked to complete a 2-week diary card detailing their GI symptoms and glucose readings, and also supply blood and urine samples for analysis twice each year. Two years from the study outset, participants will again complete the autonomic test series. Psychiatric co-morbidity will be investigated using the Composite Diagnostic Interview (CIDI-Auto) at the autonomic testing time points. The study will be undertaken at the Gastroenterology Research Unit at Nepean Hospital, in collaboration with the Royal Adelaide Hospital, centres with proven track records in diabetes investigation.

Funding Amount $AUD 271,527.54

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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