old biker
By old biker Latest Reply 2012-07-02 12:21:48 -0500
Started 2012-06-24 07:10:48 -0500

Four months ago I made two changes, the first was I went on a very low carb diet and the second, was one shot of Lantus insulin was added to my daily intake of 2000mg of metformin.
Up until then I never had a problem with irregularity, I had a morning bowel movement like clock work, 15 minutes after my morning cup of coffee. For the last 4 months I have had chronic constipation and I have added a stool softener to my daily meds which has helped some what.
I was wondering if anybody else had to deal with this due to a medication or diet change, or should I be concerned about something else. I never had this problem before

49 replies

Juno's Mom
Juno's Mom 2012-07-02 11:52:48 -0500 Report

Hey old biker friend… we are taking the exact same meds and the same dosage of metformin. Like a previous comment, I am also convinced that the meds are the cause, but I'm worried about lowering the dosages since they seem to be working for me. However, my doc's resident practical nurse suggested that I try Miralax and that has helped tremendously for my situation. I started out taking one dose a day, but it makes things rather "loose" if taken daily on a regular basis. So the nurse suggested 1/2 a dose (still too much), then I decided to try one full dose every 3rd or 4th day. That was the right program for me. Sure hope you find a solution. It's easy to talk about, but no fun when you're going through it!

old biker
old biker 2012-07-02 12:15:40 -0500 Report

hey JM..At this point Ian pretty sure It is my diet and not the meds..I started taking Metamucil and everything worked out..Do you believe I just that..LOL thanks for stopping by :-)

JewelSanders1 2012-06-29 00:58:41 -0500 Report

Yes one tablet of organic alfalfa to my morning med's its great for the blood and helps with regularity. No added extras just natural relief.

jayabee52 2012-06-29 11:26:12 -0500 Report

that's great! Never would have thought of that. Where may those tablets be found?

JewelSanders1 2012-06-29 15:22:35 -0500 Report

That's one tablet a day for maybe a week then 2 each day you cant take too many but if you take too many at once they will make you go a lot lol. Later i will share a muffin that is very good and full of fiber they help too.

JewelSanders1 2012-06-29 15:15:32 -0500 Report

You can get them at Wal-mart over the counter for cheap like $5 or so for a big bottle they are with the vitamins. I recommend one a day at first then more if needed. They are very good for you as well.

re1ndeer 2012-06-29 12:18:58 -0500 Report

James here is some information about alfalfa, that you may want to read, before consuming, it discusses its benefits and side effects.

Here :

jayabee52 2012-06-30 07:02:55 -0500 Report

Thanks re1deer!

Lupis & lupis flares as one of the potential side effects? My 2nd wife, "Jem" had Lupis. Having seen her go through some of those, it really frightens me.

I most likely won't get those as my immune system seems strong (even though compromised by my Diabetes), but is frightening nonetheless.

Caroltoo 2012-06-30 08:24:06 -0500 Report

If you are developing gluten issuses, its also counterproductive. I used a highly recommended alfalfa based vitamin pill for a while and developed much increased intestinal distress.

pixsidust 2012-06-25 22:49:20 -0500 Report

I never have this problem. I do notice however when I eat chopped frozen spinach that everything moves nicely. Stool softeners are not great. make sure you are hydrated. The fiber or metamucil really helps hold the water in your stool while absorbing cholesterol. Heres a 5 minute show on it from Dr Oz

MoeGig 2012-06-25 21:24:07 -0500 Report

Without going into all the gory details, what has worked very well for me is a daily dose of CVS fiber…a powder you can add to water…3 teaspons each day in the am in water. It has fixed my problem. When I skip it, the problem returns; so, I know it works. Good Luck.

Type1Lou 2012-06-25 14:56:51 -0500 Report

Luckily, I haven't suffered from that problem. The only suggestion I can make would be to make certain your low-carb diet include plenty of fiber which should help.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2012-06-25 09:10:13 -0500 Report

I am sorry to hear that you are having chronic constipation issues. I was wondering if by any chance you may have also added a calcium tablet to your daily meds. Or perhaps a vitamin that has added calcium. It is amazing how calcium can affect your bowel movements.
My husband who was ALWAYS regular had an issue about 2 years ago. I was concerned because his mom died of colon cancer and this was a dramatic change in his bowel habits. To correct the uncomfortable situation he took the metamusil and/or benafiber. Those meds cleared up the immediate problem but not the long term issue. After about 3 weeks, I happened to look in his medicine cabinet and noticed a bottle of calcium tablets. I asked him when he began taking those tablets and he said about 3 weeks ago! Bingo! Stopped the calcium tables and the constipation cleared up and never returned.
All meds whether they are OTC or Rx have side affects. It's important to share information so that we may all learn from each other.
Good luck and I hope this helps! :-)

jigsaw 2012-06-24 18:01:46 -0500 Report

I'll add one more detail to all the fantastic info here ! I had developed intense cramping and spasms and constipation unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was on 2000mg of Metformin at the time. I cut the dose in half and the problem subsided and disappeared within a week. I spoke with a few doctors, and they all believed that met does not cause constipation. Although it is not common, Met was definitely causing me to have constipation. When I increased the dosage on two occasions , the problem returned each time. It also subsided when I cut the dose each time.

I'm not sure, but I believe that I read that metformin does cause dehydration to some degree and effects the moisture content of the intestines.

In either case, my endo is currently listening very closely!

Your entire description fits my circumstances exactly. I never had a problem with constipation in my life. I find this to be extremely interesting. Constipation can cause a host of problems such as diverticulitis and diverticulosis ! I'm pleased to say that I have solved my problem so far. I certainly hope that you accomlish the same!!!

MAYS 2012-06-24 18:46:46 -0500 Report

Yes, constipation is one of the side effects of Metformin:

Gastrointestinal Discomfort:

Metformin may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Symptoms can include heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and constipation, reports Medline Plus. Taking this medication with food or milk may help lessen these effects. Eating smaller meals more frequently and avoiding spicy or fatty foods may help combat gastrointestinal discomfort. Several over-the-counter remedies are available for the occasional treatment of heartburn, gas, diarrhea, and bloating. Patients should consult their physician prior to taking these medications.


jigsaw 2012-06-24 19:05:06 -0500 Report

Thanks MAYS ! I think I'll shove this link in front of a few docs that I know! I think it's time they loosen up a bit and broaden their point of view. Sometimes I think some docs get constipation with their thinking ! They all had the same response when I approached them. They said Met can cause diahrea, but not constipation! Yeah right !!!

old biker
old biker 2012-06-24 16:57:09 -0500 Report

I Just wanted to thank everybody for their input, or should I say output on this,I already suffer from CRS and I want to prove people wrong when told, I'm full of sh*T..No seriously Thank You All who took the time to responded to this..Have a great day people

Set apart
Set apart 2012-06-24 15:06:20 -0500 Report

Well since we are sharing I thought I had problems before D since D I am usually constipated. Like you am trying to drink more water. I am doing more natural fruits which are low glycemic and don't raise my BG levels. These include the berry family and apples. I am also drinking sun tea (green) with lemon. I am on 23 units Lantus and novolog. When I really feel like I need help I will take some colon cleanse tablets which do help! Good luck!

Tony5657 2012-06-24 10:41:53 -0500 Report

Please see the dried bean/pea recipe I just posted in the recipe section. It's a wonderful & tasty anti-constipation "medicine" that I personally guarantee. They are a high fiber, slow carb. food. Tony5657 in TX

MAYS 2012-06-24 10:22:33 -0500 Report

Constipation happens to diabetics due to our body needing fluids to help remove the excess glucose from our blood.
And yes many medications can also be the culprits!

In order to do this our bodies will began taking water from whatever we consume, it looks to remove it from our large intestine, thereby causing constipation, it will also take it from our blood and our muscle tissue.

Eating fiber rich foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables with their skin and peelings on will help you to combat this somewhat.
Additional assistance from Metamucil, Citrucel or Psyllium works very well.
Wheat Bran is another natural alternative, so are Potato Skins, try to stay away from chemical based methods, try to limit your choices to natural sources.


jigsaw 2012-06-24 16:30:09 -0500 Report

Very good and helpful info!!! I had some of it, but not all of it. My dietician helped me with the diet part, my gastroenterologist told me to take metamucil, and I have been drinking large amounts of water. My primary care physician didn't offer any advice and my endo looked at me like I was an alien when I told him that the meds were adding to the problem !
Your discussion has filled in a few blanks and increased my understanding of the situation more so than any of the 5 or 6 physicians that I have talked with.
Your not a bad guy after all ! (-; You've hit the nail on the head again!!!

Caroltoo 2012-06-24 08:43:50 -0500 Report

Not usually an issue for me either because I eat a lot of high fiber vegetables. When I started taking psyllium to increase fiber for BG and cholesterol control, I did notice a change. Psyllium works well after your system has adjusted to it, but it does require you drink plenty of water. Without the increased water, you will experience more cramps and intermittant irregularity. Found the same thing with chia seeds … had to increase the fluid in my diet. Once I got that all sorted out, regularity returned. My quick fix is an ear of corn.

re1ndeer 2012-06-24 08:33:22 -0500 Report

I had the same problem as you. Do away with the stool softner and add fiber back into your diet plan whether you use powder (Metimucil ) or pills (Fiber-con) will make you regular again.
Please note though for about a week, or so, your body has to get used to the fiber, that your not eating, so you will have bloating and cramps. But, after awhile you will be regular again.

DeanaG 2012-06-24 07:39:16 -0500 Report

I am just the opposite, I use to suffer from irregularity, but since being diagnosed and making my lifestyle changes I have not. Like you said 15 minutes after my cup of coffee just like clockwork. ;-)