The other day I asked on Diabetic South Africans if anyone had any diabetes questions for us to ask our experts – and the questions came flooding in! But one of the most repeated ones was about Type 2 diabetes medication (metformin) and diarrhea… It seems that so many people struggle with it, and it’s making their lives miserable. Some people even said they didn’t want to take their medication because of stomach trouble! But medication is essential for many Type 2 diabetics.
Type 2 diabetes medication and diarrhea: what to do
So I asked Prof Joel Dave, the endocrinologist (diabetes specialist) on our Panel of Experts, for some advice. He agreed that diarrhea or stomach upsets are a common side-effect of Type 2 diabetes medication, and had a few suggestions to offer. He said:
Gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea or upset tummy) are well recognised side-effects of this medication. Some people are completely intolerant and have to stop the drug.
You can try:
Taking your medication with meals or immediately after
Talking to your doctor about taking a lower dose
Taking the long-acting form of Type 2 diabetes medication (not available in the state sector)Prof. Joel Dave, endocrinologist
So essentially, the advice is to first try taking it with meals. If that doesn’t help, speak to your doctor about a lower dose. And if that doesn’t work, try switching to a different form of the medication.
All kinds of diabetes questions
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Eat healthy for diabetes: The one article you need to read about diabetes and diet.