What Causes Diarrhea in Diabetes?

Around 22% of diabetes patients suffer from frequent diarrhea. Being unable to control ones bowel movement and having incontinence is common among those who have the chronic metabolic condition.


Diabetes and Diarrhea

People who have been diagnosed with any form of diabetes could experience various complications and symptoms. One of these complications is diarrhea. In fact, a big percentage of diabetic patients experience frequent diarrhea. Medical experts are not sure whether such complication is related to the issues in the colon or small bowel and it is unclear what causes persistent diarrhea among people who have diabetes.

The diarrhea experienced by diabetic patients can be constant or occasional. It can alternated with several periods of regular bowel movement and also alternate with constipation.

What Causes Diarrhea in Diabetes

The reason behind the diarrhea is not clear, however research suggests that neuropathy can be a factor. This refers to the pain or numbness as a result of nerve damage caused by persistent high level of blood sugar. Neuropathy usually take place in your feet or hands. It is one of the most common causes of complications that come with diabetes.


Another possible reason of diarrhea is the use of sorbitol, a type of sweetener commonly used in diabetes-friendly foods. Sorbitol is a potent laxative and could be the reason behind diarrhea for some patients.

Imbalance on your enteric nervous system can also lead to diarrhea. The enteric nervous system is responsible for regulating the overall functioning of ones gastrointestinal system.

Who Have a Higher Risk of Getting Diarrhea?

Type 1 Diabetes patients may also have an increased risk of insistent diarrhea. This can happen to those who are struggling with their treatment regimen and cannot keep up with their blood glucose level.

Elders who have been suffering from diabetes could also suffer from frequent diarrhea. This is because people who have long history of the chronic condition will have an increase risk of diarrhea.

When to See Your Doctor

You must decide to see your doctor if you are suffering from frequent diarrhea which prevents you from leading your normal life. Your doctor will check your health profile and assess your blood sugar levels. It is also common for you to go through a physical exam to rule out any possibility of other medical conditions.

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