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Diabetes And Constipation: An Awkward But Real Issue

Author: Michele Carlese, Naturopath, Herbalist
Source: Healthy Living, July 2, 2007

About one in every four diabetics experience frequent bouts of constipation, making it by far the most common gastrointestinal issue for people with diabetes. The problem afflicts both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers, and is known to be significantly more prevalent among those diabetics who also suffer from nerve damage.

What Causes Constipation?

Most people have at least one bowel movement a day. However, bowel habits vary from person to person and less frequent bowel movements are not necessarily a sign of constipation.

Most doctors will agree, however, that anyone who has a bowel movement less than three times a week and passes hard stools can be said to be constipated.

Constipation happens to everyone occasionally, but some people suffer from chronic constipation which makes their lives a misery and each bowel movement a huge relief!

Occasional constipation is usually caused by diet, lack of exercise, stress or drinking insufficient liquids.

Chronic constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including digestive disorders like IBS, lack of fiber and fluids in the diet, depression, lack of exercise and some medical conditions like diabetes, colon cancer and hypothyroidism.

Constipation may also be a side effect of some prescription drugs, high blood pressure and pain relief. Many people have also lost natural bowel movements due to the overuse and abuse of OTC and prescription laxatives.