Diabetes is a disease known to cause a number of ill effects on the body. The disease causes a lot of changes in the body primarily because of nerve damage. In diabetes, nerve damage occurs because the blood changes viscosity due to increased blood sugar levels. When the blood is viscous, blood moves slowly and hence transportation of oxygen and nutrients to various organs in the body is compromised causing eventual nerve damage.
Nerve damage causes changes such as poor eyesight, decreased perception to pain, and even constipation.
Diabetes and Constipation
The link between constipation and diabetes lies on nerve damage.
- Diabetes is defined as a chronic disease that is known to cause hyperglycemia or elevated blood sugar levels.
- Constipation is the state in which the stools become hard to pass or bowel movements become infrequent.
- Studies have shown that one in every four diabetics experiences constipation.
- Insulin-dependent diabetics suffer more from chronic constipation.
- Medical treatment is recommended for diabetics that experience chronic constipation before drastic consequences develop.
Diabetes and Constipation: Why?
Neuropathy is the main reason behind constipation in diabetics.
- Studies have also shown that autonomic neuropathy is one of the identified reasons behind the correlation.
- When autonomic neuropathy occurs, peripheral nervous system nerves become damaged, causing health changes such as poor eye sight, poor pain reception, and poor bowel movements.
- In diabetics, the nerves of the digestive system suffer enormously causing poor food mobility that causes constipation.
- There are nerves in the digestive system that controls how long the food/stool stays in the colon. When the nerves become damaged, stool stays longer in the colon than necessary. The longer stool stays, the longer the colon is given time to absorb water, drying the stool and making it difficult to pass.
Diabetes and Constipation Remedies
When diabetics experience chronic constipation, it is essential that medical treatment or home remedies be started immediately to avoid further health complications.
- Regulate blood sugar levels. Diabetics should carefully monitor and regulate their blood sugar levels. Constantly increasing or increased blood sugar levels will lead to further nerve damage.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Aside from carefully observing a diabetic meal plan, diabetics should also eat plenty of foods rich in fiber to help increase motility and facilitate regular bowel movement.
- Drink plenty of water. Dry stools are hard to pass. Water softens stools and makes it easier to pass.
- Exercise regularly. Diabetics benefit from exercise because it helps regulate their blood sugar levels. Exercise also aids the mobility of the digestive system, facilitating bowel movement.