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Have frequent bouts of diarrhea, have diabetes and taking iron supplements. Suggest?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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I have frequent bouts of diarrea, two or three times a week. I have type two diabetes and am takeing iron, but had these symtoms fefor the starting the Iron suppliment.
Posted Fri, 4 Oct 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Needs tests

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX

In the scenario of diabetes, it can be due to may causes and thus needs more tests to rule these out.

The causes can be:
- Bacterial overgrowth
- medicine induced like metformin, acarbose, laxatives are known to cause diarhea
- autonomic neuropathy or some other neuropathy like sensory neuropathy, etc
- fecal incontinence
- Diabetes associated disease like celiac disease, bile acid malabsorption, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Though it seems like a long list, most of these can be easily ruled out by a doctor by taking a careful history and doing more tests. The tests initially can include:

- routine blood tests like hemogram, blood glucose levels, HbA1C, liver function tests, kidney function tests, etc
- specific blood tests like anti-endomysial and tissue transglutaminase assay for celiac disease
- stool for blood, leukocytes, ova and parasites
- sigmoidoscopy may also be advised if above tests are negative

The treatment is successful if the cause is found and specific management of the cause is initiated.

You can try the following in the meanwhile:

- Take nutritious, high protein food and pure drinking water
- Take nutritional supplements like ensure or proteinex if you have weakness or loss of weight
- Can try over-the counter antidiarheals like loperamide
- Take high fiber diet that includes raw vegetables, high fiber digestive biscuits.
- in the morning, you can take boiled black channa or chickpeas

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr Vaishalee

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