• adolescent;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • food habits;
  • GI;
  • type 1

Lodefalk M, Åman J. Gastrointestinal symptoms in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Objective: To compare the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in adolescents with and without type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and to relate the symptoms in patients to demographic, socioeconomic, diabetes-specific variables, and food habits.

Method: In a population-based, cross-sectional setting, 173 adolescents with T1DM and 160 matched controls completed a questionnaire. Moreover, 13 patients and 1 control were excluded due to having a GI disorder.

Results: Moreover, 75% of patients and 77% of controls reported at least one GI symptom (ns). More girls than boys reported symptoms. Reflux episodes were more prevalent in patients with poorer socioeconomic status. Poor appetite, loss of weight, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, swallowing difficulties, and nausea were more prevalent in patients smoking daily compared with patients not smoking daily. Vomiting was more prevalent in patients with duration of diabetes >7 yr, and patients with reflux episodes had higher glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Belching and early satiety were more prevalent in patients with an irregular meal pattern.

Conclusions: GI symptoms in adolescents are common, but the prevalence is not increased in those with T1DM. GI symptoms in adolescents with T1DM are associated with female sex, poorer socioeconomic status, daily cigarette smoking, longer duration of diabetes, poorer metabolic control, and an irregular meal pattern.