Up to 60% of the patients with diabetes mellitus
suffer from gastrointestinal tract symptoms that arise pathogenetically from a disturbance of the autonomous nervous system. Patient age, disease duration and poor control of diabetes mellitus correlate positively with the presence of gastrointestinal symptoms. Chronic constipation
, in addition to diarrhoea, gall bladder dysfunction
, is increasingly regarded as a serious problem and for the first time, is now considered in the current guidelines of the professional societies. Modern diagnosis and treatment facilitate systematic control of the symptoms. Treatment necessitates long-term intake of laxatives, proper diabetes control and other accompanying general measures such as adequate amounts of liquids, dietary fibre and exercise. Motility and secretion-stimulating, osmotically active or locally applied laxatives are used. Slow transit constipation, which is typically observed in diabetics, can be best controlled with polyethylene glycol
, bisacodyl or sodium picosulphate.