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Research Article

Altered bile in diabetic diarrhoea.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 25 November 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1462
  1. A M Molloy,
  2. G H Tomkin


    The size and composition of the bile-salt pools in a group of diabetics with neuropathy but no diarrhoea and a group with "diabetic diarrhoea" were compared with those in a group of stable, uncomplicated diabetics. The diabetics with neuropathy had significantly more dihydroxy bile salts, a larger bile-salt pool, and a higher faecal excretion of bile than the controls. The diabetics with diarrhoea had significantly more dihydroxy bile salts, a higher glycine to taurine ratio, a smaller bile-salt pool, and increased excretions of 14C-tracer and total bile salts. We conclude that considerable alterations occur in the bile of diabetics with neuropathy or diarrhoea, and we suggest that in some cases at least these abnormalities may indicate a mechanism for diabetic diarrhoea.