Gastric emptying and postprandial glucose excursions in adolescents with type 1 diabetes

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Because amylin is co-secreted with insulin from beta cells, patients with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) are deficient in both insulin and amylin. Amylin delays gastric emptying and suppresses glucagon in the postprandial period. Hence, we hypothesized that children with complication-naive T1DM have accelerated gastric emptying in response to a mixed meal because of amylin deficiency. Amylin, glucagon, insulin, glucose, and gastric emptying were measured in seven T1DM and in eight control subjects without diabetes. Subjects with T1DM had markedly elevated glucose concentrations when compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Amylin concentrations as predicted were lower in T1DM compared with those in controls (p < 0.0001). Insulin did not peak in the immediate postprandial period in T1DM when compared with controls (p < 0.0001). Glucagon concentrations did not significantly differ between groups. Interestingly, gastric velocity was delayed in patients with T1DM compared with controls (p < 0.01). In conclusion, subjects with T1DM do have amylin deficiency but this is not associated with accelerated gastric emptying as we had hypothesized but rather with delayed gastric emptying. Factors other than amylin play a role in control of gastric motility in T1DM. Subcutaneous insulin delivery fails to reach adequate concentrations in the postprandial period to curtail peak glucose concentration in T1DM.

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