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CWD Answers Archives

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June 25, 1999


Question from New Zealand:

I am a 37 year old female and have had Type 1 for 25 years. Can you explain the symptoms of damage to the digestive tract from the disease? Despite a high fibre diet, I have to use microenemas frequently. Could this be a result of having diabetes for so long?


From: DTeam Staff

Some of the GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms of diabetes neuropathy are upset stomach, having the food return to your mouth, an early feeling of fullness (i.e., feeling like you are full when you have only had a bite or two), hypoglycemia after eating (since the food is not absorbed), severe gassiness, constipation alternating with severe diarrhea. Please talk to your doctor or diabetes team about this.

A couple of ideas:

If you are having a high fibre diet, that is great, but be sure to include plenty of water. We often find folks think just eating lots of fibre will ease their constipation, but if they consume water, then they can move the foods though more easily and quickly.
Eat small meals and it is usually best to not have liquids with the meal, especially the first 2 meals of the day, but this is very individualized.
Stay upright after a meal — often walking around after eating is encouraged. It is usually not a good idea to lay down right after eating.