Introduction: Esophagus dysmotility is a crucial risk factor of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is one of the most common diseases in digestive medicine globally. This review emphasizes the mechanisms of esophagus dysmotility in diabetes and summarizes more targeted treatments for these patients to avoid the overuse of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Areas covered: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a clear factor that must not be neglected in the development of GERD. Previous studies have preliminarily researched the esophagus deterioration in diabetes. However, the multi-faceted mechanisms of esophagus dysmotility in diabetes need more studies. Besides, targeted treatments for these patients rather than conventional PPIs are urgently needed.
Expert opinion: The treatments for GERD patients with diabetes should be further explored. Pharmacological approaches such as prokinetic agents, psychotherapy can be adopted. Meanwhile, it's feasible to explore non-drug treatments. For example, Electroacupuncture (EA) at Zusanli (ST-36) may be effective to protect the networks of intestinal cells of Cajal (ICCs) in diabetes. More effective approaches should be explored to achieve individualized treatment for these patients.