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Question:

From Blackburn, England:

My 4 year old daughter has had Type 1 diabetes for 2 years. Leading up to diagnosis and ever since then she has suffered from constipation. The medical team state this is unconnected. Is this a known complication of diabetes in some instances?

Answer:

Diabetes mellitus, generally many years after the diagnosis and in presence of long standing poor metabolic control, can lead to a chronic complication of the peripheral autonomic nervous system called autonomic diabetic neuropathy. Sometimes it affects the lower part of the gut, and its most frequent finding is diabetic diarrhea that can be associated with intermittent constipation. I do agree with your daughter's medical team that in her case, no connection seems to exist (too short duration of diabetes and preexistence of constipation) and other reasons for her chronic constipation should be sought: perhaps with the help of a pediatric gastroenterologist.

MS

[Editor's comment: We've answered a question about diabetes and diarrhea previously. WWQ]

[Editor's comment: Poor diet can contribute to constipation. If your daughter doesn't eat fresh fruit each day, you might try working it into her diet. We've had personal experience with this problem with two of our three children -- the two who don't have diabetes! JSH]

Original posting 9 Sep 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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