Studies say constipation can raise blood sugar by as much as 10%.
When food is not moving properly through the digestive tract, it affects absorption. Therefore, a diabetic may be able to lower their blood sugar by dealing with constipation.
In this article I list 6 ways that diabetes may cause constipation, and the best ways to overcome each of these.
When blood sugar is elevated, the body needs water to flush this excess sugar from the blood. If this fluid is not replaced, it can cause those with uncontrolled diabetes to live in a constant state of dehydration.
You see, when the body is dehydrated, it becomes desperate, and tries to pull the water it needs from the colon. This causes stool to dry out and become hard, making it painful to eliminate.
Replacing lost water and staying hydrated is an important first step in avoiding the effect of diabetes and constipation.
Just picture the difference between a grape and a raisin, then make it a point to stay hydrated.
No doubt you know how important it is for someone with diabetes to control their diet. For instance, diabetics should limit carbs, but some carbs are a good source of fiber.
A. Look for natural ways to avoid high blood sugar.
B. For the carbs you do eat, make sure to eat carbs rich in fiber AND nutrients. Eat:
Avoid processed foods, because manufacturers generally process out most of the fiber.
C. Try to incorporate foods into your diet that have a low glycemic index, yet are high in fiber.
Here is a short list of such foods.
D. These purchased products may prove helpful
The New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study to examine the effects of a high fiber diet on blood sugar levels.
The results? While on a high fiber diet, participants’ blood sugar levels were 10% lower.
Fiber will generally help diabetes and constipation.
Sometimes diabetes and constipation happen because of the drugs a diabetic is taking to handle diabetes symptoms and other problems.
Medications and constipation can be a difficult problem to address, but there are potential answers.
They say that diabetes is a progressive disease. The reason for this is that diabetes isn't a blood sugar disease at all, but an insulin disease.
A. Type 1 diabetes
With Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn't produce insulin. Therefore the patient has to take daily insulin. The problem is that it is hard to get the exact right amount of insulin.
Over time, spikes in blood sugar and insulin will have a negative effect on the body, which can result in constipation.
B. Type 2 diabetes
This is an insulin resistant disease. When one indulges in sweets, it causes insulin to spike to lower the spike in blood sugar.
Insulin itself is damaging to tissue. To protect itself from insulin spikes, the body becomes less sensitive to insulin. Usually by the time a person has diabetic symptoms, they are already quite resistant to insulin.
C. Why type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease
Instead of dealing with the problem (insulin resistance), we tend to deal with the symptom (high blood sugar). As insulin resistance increases, it takes more and more insulin to control blood sugar.
Over time, the high levels of insulin and blood sugar take their toll with progressively more damage to the body. Nerves are injured (see point 6 below), making it harder for the body to move stool along in the colon. This then results in the dreaded diabetes and constipation combo.
Go after the disease (insulin resistance) instead of the symptom (high blood sugar). There are ways to lower insulin resistance.
As I mentioned above, magnesium might work to help with diabetes and constipation even when other methods fail. A sea mineral supplement rich in magnesium may be taken every day, and prove to be a long-term solution to many diabetes and constipation problems.
Since most Americans don’t get enough magnesium, supplementing with it can have numerous health benefits. Besides this, sea minerals contain numerous valuable trace minerals missing from most of our diets.
Unfortunately, as transient time in the colon increases, yeasts and fungi tend to take over the colon, reducing the amount of beneficial bacteria.
This can result in bloating, gas, abdominal pain and even diarrhea. One day you are constipated, the next day you have diarrhea. No fun.
Though some might suggest that a course of antibiotics is what is needed to bring yeast, fungi and harmful bacteria under control, I personally wouldn't go that route. Not only does it kill the overreaching microbes, it also wipes out beneficial bacteria.
Instead, why not eat foods that encourage beneficial bacteria, like:
Along with this, avoid those foods that feed the yeast and fungi, including sweets, carbs and hydrogenated oils. Foods included in this group are:
Add to this a daily portion of fermented foods, like sauerkraut and other cultured vegetables, kombucha and non-sweetened kefir and yogurt, or other types of probiotics, and you will find that your colon will come back into a good balance of beneficial bacteria, fungi and yeast.
Good bye bacteria overgrowth! And hopefully, good bye to the diabetes and constipation combo.
This is a common complication of both type one AND type two diabetes, where blood sugar levels are not controlled.
According to the American Diabetes Association, between 60 and 70 percent of diabetics have some form of neuropathy.
A. How a diabetic gets neuropathy
Over time, high blood sugar levels weaken the walls of the blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to the nerves. This cuts down on the ability of these blood vessels to transport oxygen and essential nutrients.
When the vagus nerves, which control the length of time that waste stays in the body, are deprived of nutrients and oxygen, they become damaged.
If high blood sugar is not controlled, the damage gradually increases. The digestive system begins to lose some efficiency at moving food waste along. Waste then can back up, dry out and harden, resulting in an ongoing battle with constipation.
B. How to tell if you are constipated
It is accepted that a person is constipated if 25% of the time they have hard stools and strain to pass stools, and have less than 3 bowel movements a week.
Laxatives are a poor answer to the problem of diabetes and constipation, since over time laxatives can damage the colon and its ability to contract and move waste along.
Sadly, damage to nerves is irreversible. It is therefore best to prevent it before it happens.
By controlling one’s blood sugar, a person can slow or completely stop more nerve damage from happening.
A. Some ideas for preventing nerve damage
B. Ways to lessen neuropathy constipation
C. Tried and true diabetes and constipation remedies
D. Unusual diabetes and constipation remedies
E. Ask your doctor
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share with you about diabetes and constipation.
It is my hope and prayer that the above information proves helpful, and that very soon the diabetes and constipation combination will disappear, and you will be having regular, soft bowel movements.