Foods That Cause Diarrhea With Metformin

Foods That Cause Diarrhea With Metformin

There are some foods we eat that don’t go well with Metformin. Foods that cause diarrhea with metformin ruin your day because diarrhea on its own is so discomforting.

What do you know about Metformin?  Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar.


It usually causes temporary gastrointestinal side effects that usually disappear as soon as your body adjusts to taking it, however, some individuals experience chronic diarrhea lasting more than four weeks at a time.

Patients using it may find relief by switching to extended-release metformin tablets, which will spread its absorption throughout their gut and decrease symptoms such as diarrhea.


However, by taking metformin alongside foods that typically cause it, patients can avoid foods that might otherwise trigger diarrhea episodes.

Foods That Cause Diarrhea with Metformin

Below are foods that cause diarrhea with metformin to avoid when taking these tablets:

1. Foods Higher in Fiber

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Foods Higher in Fiber

Metformin can lead to diarrhea when combined with high-fiber foods, usually improving as dietary adjustments are made.

However, chronic diarrhea, a less common but serious side effect, requires effective management with the support of healthcare professionals.


It’s vital to explore strategies to alleviate this discomfort while on metformin therapy.

Diarrhea might also stem from diabetic neuropathy, which harms the digestive tract nerves, slowing intestinal movement enough to cause diarrhea.

Adding fiber into your diet can aid both diarrhea and constipation linked to metformin. Opt for whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

To boost fiber intake, focus on more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains while reducing sugary fruits and snacks.

In addition to upping fiber intake, consider drinking more water and eliminating caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

Avoid high FODMAP foods like dairy, certain fruits, coffee, and spicy dishes that could cause diarrhea.

2. Caffeine

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Consuming foods containing caffeine (like coffee and tea) or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame alongside metformin could trigger diarrhea.

Caffeine, acting as a gut stimulant, accelerates digestion by causing increased contractions in your gastrointestinal muscles, hastening food passage through your system.

Hence, it’s advisable to avoid caffeine-containing products while undergoing metformin therapy to minimize the risk of diarrhea.

3. Simple Carbohydrates

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Simple Carbohydrates

Managing diabetes involves not just medication like metformin but also maintaining a blood sugar-friendly diet.

Consuming excessive simple carbohydrates (such as sugar, sweets, refined grains, etc.) might hinder the effectiveness of metformin.

Opt for complex carbohydrates and, when consuming simple carbs, pair them with foods containing moderate amounts of fiber and protein.


4. Meat

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People using metformin to manage Type 2 diabetes and control weight can benefit greatly from a healthy diet.

However, certain food combinations with metformin can lead to diarrhea. To counter this side effect, it’s advisable to avoid specific foods and instead opt for nutritious alternatives that won’t provoke diarrhea symptoms.

Foods rich in fructose can potentially induce diarrhea, particularly fruits, and beverages sweetened with fructose, like fruit juice.

These foods prompt your body to draw more fluid into the intestines, potentially causing diarrhea.

Common culprits include high-fructose fruits such as apricots, pears, peaches, and soda, as well as fruit juice, all of which are high in fructose and could potentially trigger diarrhea when paired with metformin therapy.

5. Fatty foods

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Fatty foods

Eating fatty foods alongside metformin can also result in diarrhea because fats take longer to process in your body compared to carbohydrates and proteins.

To reduce this side effect, limit the intake of fatty foods while on metformin. Choose lean meats, low-fat yogurt, and skim milk instead of their higher-fat counterparts whenever possible.

Although diarrhea might be an unwanted effect of metformin, it typically diminishes as your body gets used to the medication.

6. High-Fructose Foods

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High-Fructose Foods

Large amounts of fructose, a simple sugar present mainly in fruits and select vegetables, can overwhelm the intestines and result in symptoms like gas, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

This effect intensifies when opting for fruit juices or high-fructose beverages over whole, unprocessed fruits.

Fructose malabsorption, attributed to hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) or dietary fructose intolerance (DFI), can be managed through low FODMAP diets or diagnosed using hydrogen breath testing.

Lactose, the primary sugar in dairy products present in milk, butter, and ice cream, might pose digestion challenges as people age, leading to lactose intolerance.

When combined with metformin, this could trigger diarrhea symptoms due to lactase non-persistence.

Additional sources of high-fructose foods include sweetened yogurt, certain frozen treats, condiments like ketchup, and energy drinks.

 When uncertain about the fructose content in a product, referring to the ingredient list or contacting the manufacturer for clarification is recommended.


Foods that cause diarrhea with Metformin may be an adverse side effect of metformin, it’s important to remember that it will likely go away as your body adjusts.

But if it persists, speak to your physician about alternative forms of managing type 2 diabetes management such as an insulin pump or sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors such as canagliflozin (Invokana) and dapagliflozin (Farxiga).

Also, you can consider switching to extended-release metformin which has reduced gastrointestinal side effects.