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Question:

From California, USA:

My niece has diabetes and is having some major constipation problems. It's been four days since her last movement, and nothing seems to be helping.

Answer:

I do not know how old your niece is, but we usually suggest increasing plain water in the diet and fibrous foods. Hopefully that will help.

LSF

Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:

Most of the time, constipation is not a consequence or other issue related directly to diabetes. You probably already know the importance of staying hydrated and consuming fiber to keep the bowels regular. If her meal plan is not optimal, that may need to be an area to be explored.

There are many conditions that can have infrequent, hard stools (constipation) as a symptom. A common condition is an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). A good proportion of individuals with type 1 diabetes also have hypothyroidism so this also should be considered. Hypothyroidism is usually very easy to diagnose (or exclude) and very easy to treat if present.

That leads me to the next thought -- Peopnot have a bowel movement everyday, that is "constipation." If her usual pattern is to have a bowel movement less often, one to two times per week, but still easily passes a firm yet moist stool, that is not constipation. Straining to pass a hard stool or pellets of stool ("rabbit turds") would be constipation in the minds of many health professionals.

DS

DTQ-ONCDMGB20020724
Original posting 16 Aug 2002
Posted to Other

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:38
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