Monday, April 24, 2017

Why Am I Running to the Bathroom ?

     Many people with diabetes feel drained by diarrhea.  Metformin, typically the first drug doctors will prescribe to treat type 2 diabetes, is a common cause.  The link between the medicine and your digestive system is unknown.  But Deena Adimoolam, MD, an endocrinologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital and assistant professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine says it could be that a reaction to metformin causes excess water in the gastrointestinal tract and, ultimately, watery stools.  Even if you’ve tolerated the medication in the past, diarrhea can creep up at any time, though it may be more common when taking higher doses of metformin.  “Divulging what’s happening in the bathroom can lead to the quick fix of changing medication or dosing,” says Adiamoolam.
     What you eat and drink might also be to blame. The artificial sweetener sorbitol, used in many sugar-free foods, candies, and gums, can lead to bloating, gas, and excess time on the toilet. If this is the cause, you may have to scale back eating foods and diet soda with sorbitol.  What one person may tolerate, another might not.
     Diabetes puts you at a greater risk for gastroparesis, a condition of delayed stomach emptying that can cause diarrhea. Having type 1 diabetes can also up your risk for celiac disease – an intolerance to the gluten found in wheat and some other grains – which can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea because it prevents the body from properly absorbing nutrients. “There are also lifestyle and dietary changes, like gluten-free eating, to alleviate that type of discomfort, but your doctor can’t suggest them if he/she isn’t aware of your symptoms,” says Adiamoolam.

Diabetes Forecast Magazine, May/June 2017