Can my diabetes cause diarrhea?
Frequent diarrhea occurs in 5–20% of people with long-standing diabetes. The possible causes include fewer digestive enzymes being released from the pancreas, overuse of magnesium-containing antacids, or too many bacteria in the upper part of the intestine (where they should not normally be). Often, however, the cause is unknown. Damage to the nerves that control movement in the bowel is thought to be a basic cause. Have an evaluation by your health care team.
For example, if you don't have enough digestive enzymes, a pill taken with meals may cure the problem. If the cause of your diarrhea remains unknown, there are still treatments that may increase the hardness of your stools and decrease the number of daily bowel movements.
Some of these treatments include simple over-the-counter remedies like psyllium (Metamucil) or a kaolin and pectin mixture (Kaopectate). Other people respond to prescription drugs, such as cholesterol-binding resins (cholestyramine), antibiotics (tetracycline or erythromycin), or drugs designed to decrease movement in the bowel, such as loperamide (Lomotil). Whatever the cause of your diarrhea, you deserve a careful medical review of this problem, because chances are good that some of your symptoms can be relieved.
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