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Metformin and Diarrhoea

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:11 pm
by kat22gr
I’ve been taking Metformin for type 2 diabetes for over two years now and have had ongoing problems with diarrhoea since I started taking them. When I mentioned it to the diabetes nurse she just said yes, it’s one of the side effects. Should it have stopped by now as I’ve been taking them for so long? It has actually worsened over the past few weeks, I now need to go to the toilet within 30 minutes of eating and what I am passing is more liquid than solid.

Re: Metformin and Diarrhoea

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:15 pm
by Wendy Green
Hi Kat,

As well as Metformin there are various alternative drugs that can be taken to treat type 2 diabetes, including sulfonylurea, pioglitazone, canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, and empagliflozin. As you're still suffering unacceptable side effects 2 years on from starting on Metformin, I suggest you speak to your GP about trying one of these alternative medications.

I'm sure you're already aware that for some type 2 diabetics diet & lifestyle can play a part in their condition and eating more healthily and taking more exercise can help with blood sugar control. So your lifestyle might be something to consider, if if you haven't already.

I wish you luck for the future.

Re: Metformin and Diarrhoea

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:32 pm
by Dr Mani Naghibi
Hi Kat,

As you already know Metformin is known to cause diarrhoea.

The good news is that you can remain on Metformin, especially if diabetes being well controlled. Slow release Metformin does not cause diarrhoea.

Please see your GP and discuss this change.

As Wendy says other causes of diarrhoea are related to diabetes. You can also discuss tests for small intestinal overgrowth (breath test), microscopic colitis (biopsy of colon) and coeliac disease (blood test) with your GP if the diarrhoea continues. A local gastroenterologist could also take you through these test.

Re: Metformin and Diarrhoea

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:39 am
by Debbie Gordon
You don't mention if you are experiencing unexpected leakage as well as the urgency but I suspect this may be the case. Whilst you try and find a long term solution as recommended previously you may find it helpful to try an anal insert / plug which provides reassurance and enables you to manage the symptoms more effectively. There are two available on prescription in the UK.

Re: Metformin and Diarrhoea

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:49 pm
by kat22gr
Thank you for your advice. I’ll make an appointment with my GP.