What is the link between diabetes and diarrhea?

Diabetes has a range of complications and effects. These, and some treatments for diabetes, can give rise to diarrhea.

In a person with diabetes, the body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels due to problems with insulin. This can lead to high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia and a range of complications, including nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy.

What is the link between diabetes and diarrhea?

Diabetic enteropathy is a type of nerve damage that affects the digestive system. Up to one in five people with this complication will experience diarrhea, according to a study published in 2016.

Persistently high blood sugar and the length of time a person has had diabetes are two factors that affect the chances of having neuropathy and diarrhea. Diarrhea can also be a side effect of some diabetes medications.

Chronic, or long-term, gastrointestinal problems can bring further complications.

It is important for a person with diabetes and diarrhea to speak to a doctor, who will help them to find a solution.