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Connections between diabetes and bowel problems ?

Discussion in 'Other Health Conditions and Diabetes' started by Sosgez, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Having just had a 5 day bowel trauma, I'm again wondering if there's good evidence of a connection between diabetes and bowel problems. It sounds plausible, but proving it would appear tricky. A good correlation doesn't prove causality on its own. My 20 year diabetic experiences run parallel with 20 years of bowel problems, but maybe the latter would have appeared even if I were not a diabetic?
    It seems obvious that bad eating habits produced both.

    I can appreciate that the gut is a complex system and its controlled by nerves, which can be damaged by too much sugar, though we tend to think initially of the periphery first: toes and hands. But for some its also eyes and kidneys. Surely every part if the nerve system is susceptible?

    I don't see a lot of discussion of this on the web. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right places, or perhaps people don't like talking about it?
     
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  2. Jim Lahey

    Jim Lahey I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Do you eat wheat? If so, have you considered cutting it out of your diet for a while to see if there are any improvements? Wheat, especially modern varieties, is thought to play a role in a surprising number of GI problems in some. Might be worth a try. The problem of course is that it's hidden in plain sight in nearly all processed/boxed/packaged foods.
     
    #2 Jim Lahey, Feb 3, 2020 at 10:20 AM
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  3. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Do you take metformin? That can cause some people issues that they never connect. As you say nerves can be effected anywhere and a poor diet can have a multitude of effects whether leading for one alone of starburst effect from the point of origin
     
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  4. Mike d

    Mike d Type 2 · Expert

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    @Sosgez .... I don't doubt there might be a link
     
  5. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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  6. Indy51

    Indy51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Nerve damage definitely affects gut motility, see gastroparesis.

    Bloating, gas, etc can also be caused by foods, specifically the FODMAPs diet for IBS.
     
  7. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I used to take standard Metformin on and off for years. I stopped many times with gas pain/loose bowels. Eventually the doc switched me to slow release and I coped an awful lot better. I've not needed that for a year now. I was annoyed that they hadn't suggested it sooner.
     
  8. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="
    Do you mind me asking what sort of issues were you having ?[/QUOTE]
    The most common problem is blockages, and they seem to be getting more severe, almost to the point of hospital intervention. Particularly: large colon/rectum, but I've also have problems swallowing (food stuck in oesophagus), reflux/food stuck in stomach for days, H. pylori infection and vomiting bile repeatedly for many hours. That wasn't recent and I'm eating much less fat now! Usual endoscopy and cancer screens.

    My DSN told me last week to be a bit more forceful in trying to get information from my docs, because very often I hear nothing after a study. I asked them 3 times.... So since then I got online access to some of my medical records and am digesting that!

    I am confused by opposing advice about eating more or less fibre, seeing both points f view.
    If I'm at 5+ F&Veg a day, I get more blockage problems. My reaction is to drop the fibre for a while and build up again.

    I would love to eat more fruit, my DSN says 2 portions a day is the limit.
    I would love to eat a wider choice of veg. Its mostly beans(various), peas, carrots, corn, onions, tomatoes.
    I would love to eat more protein. Its years since I had proper meat. I use it mostly for flavouring. I can't eat fish or chicken w/o problems. Rarely have beef. Eggs maybe 4 boxes a year.
    No microwave meals or fast food, except porridge (40g rolled oats, milk, 10g sultanas).
    I probably eat too much bread, though pick wholemeal when possible. I make it too.
    My food budget is £2 a day.

    I try to stick to the same combinations of food day after day, for economy and safety. I've got nerve damage/wasting in my left hand, so preparing food/cooking is restricted lately.

    I drink about 3L a day, which ought to be enough. I don't think it is for me, but having prostate problems, I try to avoid too much liquids.

    My most recent blockage might be because I found some cheap white bread, or the 2 egg omelette I had the same day. I was trying for a relatively high protein day!

    I'm starting to understand what people are advising me in these forums - eat soup. I gave up buying soup for reasons of cost/salt reduction/frequent reflux. But if I make it myself, I can vary the ingredients, and get more leafy material into it. Its worth a try.
     
  9. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Beans are something I can't eat, or I get severe constipation.
     
  10. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    There are a number of factors that affect the gastric tract as a result of type 1 diabetes. The first of these is the speed at which food is absorbed, which in the early years generally speeds up due to the lack of the hormone Amylin which is also missing from the body as the beta cells produce it.

    Then there is the issue with variability of glucose levels, which does have an impact on gastric health. Observational studies have shown that it's possible 30%-50% of people with type 1 may have slow gastric transit (an example study is here https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/25/5/912). Gastric emptying also varies based on glucose levels, so slows down when your glucose levels are high (https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/103/9/3503/4996517).

    So yes, a relationship between type 1 diabetes and gastric health is well documented.
     
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  11. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t got anything else helpful to say but looking at your signature you have had excellent hb1ac (though it rose this year) despite eating significantly more carbs than I do. Has this always been the case since diagnosis? It’s more than a little worrying for you to have had so much in the way of complications directly due to the diabetes if so - were the eyes and leg part of those too?

    edit: I see in another thread you talking about frequent meter readings in the 20’s so I’m assuming the better control came after the complications set in and has probably answered my question above.
     
  12. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Great links, thanks for that. I've long thought there might also be a similar problem in the small intestine.

    Whenever thinking about this, my mind is always full of analogous situations such as in engineering ...
    like a car production line, traffic on a motorway, PID controllers, Takt time... (anyone still with me ?)

    Which leads me on to think about how one might make a "co-processor" system for one's whole alimentary canal. Maybe I mean "supervisor" , "regulator"., "avatar" or "mother"? (Mother says you must eat your greens up, or there's no pudding.)

    It would tell you what you need to put into your system to avoid the system collapsing. I don't mean in general terms (like the food advice we see everyday in the forums), I mean what you can eat right this moment, based on what's going through you. Of course it would have to compete with other "co-processors" which demand things like "I deserve cake, now. Because.".

    I suspect people are working on apps just like this now. What if they became mandatory implants ? Is this our cyborg future? OK, now laugh.
     
  13. Sosgez

    Sosgez Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Diabetes is the gift that keeps on giving.
    20 years ago I was eating with wild abandon, and am paying for that now. I had a pretty good idea what would happen but did it anyway.
     
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