Chronic diarrhea is far more likely to occur in the diabetic population than in people who do not have the disease. According to eHow Health, frequent causes of Diabetic diarrhea have been reported to take place in up to 22 percent of people who have had the disease for a long period of time. It occurs most often as a side effect of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is described as a condition caused by nerve damage done to the body as a result of frequent spikes in blood glucose levels. In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, loose bowel movements are common. Because diabetics have high blood glucose levels that they must constantly monitor and keep under control, they are more likely to eat low calorie and sugar-free foods, candies and gum. These products commonly contain sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol and mannitol. These products are thought to cause diarrhea, especially in people who have a deficiency for absorbing fructose.

Diabetics are also prone to experience bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. This is known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and when it occurs diabetic diarrhea can be the result. Although it is normal for some bacteria to grow in the small intestine, an over-abundance of growth can take place in a person with diabetes, causing bloating and diarrhea. Diabetics with diarrhea may also have damaged abdominal nerves and arteries. Celiac disease is also associated with diabetes, although the medical community is unclear why. Although it often shows no symptoms, diarrhea takes place following the consumption of food containing gluten.  Another cause that is thought to contribute to diabetic diarrhea is the hindered absorption and secretion of colonic fluid that takes place in those with the disease.


Diabetic Diarrhea Symptoms


A person who experiences chronic diarrhea may be ordered to be tested for diabetes by a physician. According to Right Diagnosis’ website, the four most common diabetic diarrhea symptoms include chronic diarrhea (obviously), abdominal cramps, loose stool (especially after meals), and fecal incontinence. Fecal incontinence takes place when a person loses control of their bowels, which is a common symptom associated with diabetic diarrhea. It should be noted that diarrhea in diabetics is known to alternated with periods of constipation as well.


Diabetic Diarrhea Treatment Options


Treating diabetic diarrhea can be a difficult task. Diabetic diarrhea treatment may call for medications that relieve treatments. At this time, there is no known cure for diabetic diarrhea. Medications that are used to treat the long-term effects of diabetic diarrhea are Catapres, somatostatin analogs and specific types of antibiotics. The goal of treating diabetic diarrhea with antibiotics is to slow the overgrowth of bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Over-the-counter medications are also available to provide relief to a diabetic with diarrhea. The underlying cause of diabetic diarrhea is hard to tackle, so most of the available medications for it only relieve the symptoms and not the long-term effects of the complication.