June 2, 1999
Question from Cherokee, Iowa, USA:
My son was diagnosed 8 years ago with Type 1 diabetes. He has motility problems with his bowel after a gastric emptying test. His doctor said that nothing can be done. Should we go to another doctor? Is there more testing or surgery that can be done? He is taking Senacot but still fills up; constantly nauseous and in pain with the laxatives.
I don’t know the details of your son’s condition but I would have thought that it’s unlikely that nothing can be done. There are several drugs that could be tried. Nonetheless, autonomic autonomic gut problems in diabetes can be difficult to treat effectively.
Additional comments from Dr. Schulga:
Occasionally people with diabetes can develop coeliac disease, where the lining of the small bowel is “allergic” to gluten in wheat. This usually presents with diarrhoea but can occasionally cause constipation or a sluggish bowel. A simple blood test for screening for the condition can be performed.