Diabetes & Constipation: Can Diabetes Cause Constipation?

It is a known fact that diabetes is caused either due to the lack of proper production or due to the improper use of insulin in the human body. This, in turn, causes the blood sugar level or the glucose level in the body to rise which is harmful to the overall body. Thus, diabetes is known to give rise to a host of other complications.

Constipation is one such harmful effect of diabetes. Irregular bowel movements are known to be a common problem amongst diabetes patients. The following article explains how. However, the good news is, with a proper understanding of the problem and by following a few easy methods, the problem can be solved.

In the following article, we discuss ‘Diabetes and Constipation and does diabetes cause constipation?’

Table of Contents

What is Constipation?

Let us first start by understanding the very meaning of constipation.


Constipation is nothing but a disorder of the digestive system in which it is difficult for the individual to empty the bowels. More specifically, if the movement of the bowel is less than even three times a week, the person is said to be suffering from constipation.

Various studies conducted by experts have always suggested that diabetes and constipation are interlinked and those who suffer from diabetes are the ones who often experience constipation problems.

In the following paragraphs, we try to understand why does that happen and how can it be prevented.

What causes Constipation in a person suffering from Diabetes?

Diabetes and Constipation

As mentioned above, people suffering from diabetes have a higher risk of suffering from constipation. Let us deep dive and see what are the reasons for the above statement:

  • It is a known fact that a person suffering from diabetes will experience some extent of damage in the nervous system. If the nerve which has been damaged due to diabetes happens to be that of the digestive system, it can cause constipation in the patient.
  • Sometimes, the medicines which are taken by patients to combat diabetes interfere in the digestive tract causing constipation in the patient.
  • Besides, people suffering from diabetes usually have a very high glucose levels in the body. This, in turn, causes dehydration. With dehydration, it is very difficult for the digestive tract and the bowel to function effectively and normally.
  • People suffering from diabetes are advised to avoid few foods like wheat products etc. Avoiding these foods completely also give rise to constipation.

Can Constipation Cause Diabetes Too?

In the above paragraph, we have seen how diabetes can lead to constipation. However, if research is to be believed, the reverse is also true.

Constipation implies that the food is not able to move properly and smoothly through the digestive tract. When this happens, the glucose level of the body is affected, leading to diabetes. Thus, prevention of both diabetes, as well as constipation, becomes of utmost importance.

Can Constipation be prevented?

As constipation can be caused due to diabetes, a normal preventive measure would be to keep diabetes and the blood sugar levels under check. If the blood sugar and glucose levels are regulated, the other regions of the body will not be adversely affected.

A proper diet, exercise, and expert advice will help all those who suffer from constipation as a result of suffering from diabetes.

The Preventive advice

There are a lot of measures which when followed, will help you stay away from constipation even if you are suffering from diabetes. Do keep the following preventive measures in mind:

  • Experts often recommend increasing the amount of fiber intake. This will help the digestive system to function smoothly.
  • Increase the amount of insoluble fiber you take in. This includes fruits, different vegetables, and also whole grains.
  • One of the important reasons why constipation is caused is dehydration. As such, you should keep drinking plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and keep constipation at bay.
  • Reduce the daily intake of coffee as well as other dairy products till you get relief from constipation.
  • Following a proper schedule of going to bed and waking up in the morning also seems to help.
  • Exercising or any other kind of physical activity is the one-stop solution to most of the problems. Regular physical activity will also help to smoothen your bowel movement.

Some Home- Made Remedies

Following are a few home-made remedies which are easy to follow and can help reduce the problem of constipation:

  • Take that castor oil which you use in the kitchen and drink a few drops of the same. You will get immediate relief from constipation within a couple of hours.
  • Mix a lot of dry fruits particularly raisins, dry figs, almonds, etc. and eat them as a snack. These have high fiber content which will give you relief from the problem of constipation.
  • Finally, another home remedy which can give you some relief is that you can mix oats and flax seeds and eat the same for your breakfast. For healthier results, add a few dry fruits too.

When you are following the above home-made remedies, do however remember to hydrate yourself constantly. The reason being that the foods which are high in fiber content need a lot of water to digest the food. So, keeping yourself hydrated is the key.

Constipation is a problem which can happen to anyone. It is not necessary that only a person suffering from diabetes suffer from the inappropriate movement of the bowel. Having said that, if you are a diabetes patient, you are at a greater risk of contracting constipation.

Hence, it becomes all the more imperative that you are aware of the conditions which can lead to both diabetes as well as constipation. That way you can keep yourself away from both the problems which, as seen above, are interconnected to one another. Finally, before you reach any conclusion and settle on a particular lifestyle, it is always advisable to seek help from a medical practitioner. The reason being that sometimes, a particular solution which is helpful to someone else, may not help you and you need to decide which is the best solution for you and your health!

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