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Let’s Talk about Poop

Poop. We don’t talk about it openly but we should. We all know it can be embarrassing but to be frank, we all poop so why not talk about it?

Diabetes, constipation and diarrhea

Diabetes can affect how we poop. As if it isn’t hard enough (no pun intended) with all the things we have to learn and to keep track of with diabetes, now we find it affects our bodies in ways we didn’t expect. Ugh! For some of us, too little poop means constipation. For others of us, too much poop means diarrhea, or in some cases, even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There are many potential causes of change to our bowels and how it’s related to diabetes.

How are constipation and diarrhea connected to diabetes?

Unhealthy eating habits

For some of us, this may have been our path to diabetes in the first place. If we eat a less than healthy diet with less roughage, our bowels may slow down. On the flip side, the unhealthy foods kept some of us regular. In my case, chocolate generally helped things move along (pun intended). I have heard others say coffee keeps them regular. Neither, although okay in small quantities, is a great way to deal with constipation.

Stress

Who doesn’t have stress in their life? We all do. The degree of the stress and how we deal with it can affect how our bowels function and how we poop. Under severe stress, the mind can affect the body leading to either constipation or diarrhea. (So…would meditation help us to poop? Who knows)

Nerve damage to bowel

Long term diabetes or uncontrolled diabetes can, over time, lead to nerve damage in many organs in our bodies: the heart, liver, pancreas, gut, and the bowel. If nerve damage affects the digestive tract, it may slow how fast the food moves through it. It’s not uncommon. Slower movement of food means, well, a slower movement (I just can’t help the puns).

Medication

Not everyone who has diabetes will be on medication but when we are, we know there can be side effects. A good example is with the drug Metformin. Gastrointestinal upset is very common. It can cause stomach upset and with some doses, diarrhea. Imagine how disruptive that could be to your life if you can’t get far from the bathroom. For some, it’s debilitating at the beginning potentially forcing them off the medication. Other medications are known to cause dehydration. Dehydration can lead to constipation.

How to help with constipation and diarrhea

So what can we do about how we poop, or not (last pun, I promise)?

  1. First line of defense, talk to your doctor or your diabetes team. There are many different medications to support diabetes. We don’t have to feel miserable from certain meds if there are other alternative ones. Even nerve damage to the bowel can be assessed to see what treatments are available.
  2. Next, work on reducing the stress in our lives, see if we can improve on our eating habits and staying hydrated. These will take practice and time to see changes.
  3. And finally, perhaps I have a warped sense of humor but I figure if poop is good for anything, it can be good for some humor. ‘Type of poops’ is my favorite.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    4 months ago

    Shelly,
    Wife and I was in the mall today and there was this place that was selling T-shirts. One of them had a figure sticking arms up in the air. Caption was: I Pooped today!!

    I started laughing to myself because it made me think of your post. 😉

  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    4 months ago

    That’s hilarious! Did you buy it? Lol.

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    4 months ago

    Wanted to but she said no for some reason. 😉

  • cyberiankhatru
    5 months ago

    My doctor recommended fiber supplements for me when taking Metformin. It helps me a lot since I don’t eat vegetables.

  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    4 months ago

    Fibre supplements can be really helpful, I agree! Glad it helped.

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    5 months ago

    Good article. Can related with it. Plus add that don’t forget to add the some days you do poop and sometimes you don’t for two days or so. 😉 Metformin never had the diarrhea effects on me though. I’m the opposite. Wife don’t understand. Been like that for a few years. That’s why my mentioning of the days or so.

  • Shelley, TheLongPointGirl moderator author
    4 months ago

    Thanks! So true. We are all different when it comes to our pooping habits. And then you add in diabetes. Another way life can change. Lol.

  • Thomas A McAtee Jr. moderator
    4 months ago

    yep.

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