Constipation is a kind of circumstances that may range from being merely a nuisance (ever journey to a brand new place and simply cannot go to the lavatory?) to being a warning signal that one thing critical is occurring together with your well being (constipation has been discovered to be a probably early symptom of Alzheimer’s illness).
Both method, it is one thing that must be addressed, particularly in case you have extra signs corresponding to bloody stools, persistent ache in your abdomen or decrease again, or “a change in your regular common bowel actions that persists for 2 weeks or extra,” advises Religion Alex, MD, of the Nationwide Remedy Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC).
The origins of constipation could be onerous to pinpoint. In keeping with Johns Hopkins Drugs, some causes for frequenting the lavatory much less usually embody not consuming sufficient liquids or fiber, a scarcity of train, or laxative abuse. The location additionally notes one other doable motive for constipation: the medicine you are taking. Learn on to seek out out about six potential culprits.
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The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) says prescription opioids are used “to deal with reasonable to extreme ache, however [they] may also have critical dangers and unwanted side effects.” The CDC notes that some well-known opioids embody oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and methadone—in addition to the artificial opioid fentanyl.
Opioids have many potential unwanted side effects, which vary from nausea and dizziness to bodily dependence—and embody constipation. “These drugs may cause constipation by slowing down the motion of meals by way of the intestine, and by lowering blood provide to the intestine,” explains Alex.
“A number of forms of blood stress drugs might trigger constipation, together with calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and diuretics,” Alex advises.
This happens as a result of these medicine “loosen up the sleek muscle tissue in blood vessels to decrease blood stress” brought on by circumstances like hypertension, explains Harvard Well being. “However additionally they loosen up the muscle tissue within the intestine and should trigger constipation.”
“Antidepressants might decelerate motion within the intestine and result in constipation,” says Alex. The Mayo Clinic explains that tricyclic antidepressants—and typically different antidepressants, as nicely—may cause disruptions to the digestive course of (amongst different methods).
The location suggests numerous methods to take care of constipation brought on by antidepressants, together with ingesting water, consuming high-fiber meals, and checking in together with your doctor about stool softeners.
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“Iron dietary supplements are essential dietary supplements for many individuals—they’re a key technique to deal with circumstances like iron-deficiency anemia,” Joshua Murdock, PharmD, writes for GoodRx. Nevertheless, iron dietary supplements (whether or not in a multivitamin or on their very own) might trigger constipation, says Murdock, who provides that “darker-than-normal wanting stools” may happen.
“Iron is tough on the digestive tract,” Howard LeWine, MD, advised Chicago Well being. LeWine suggests speaking together with your physician about taking iron dietary supplements in liquid type. “You possibly can then experiment by step by step decreasing your dose till you get to a degree that doesn’t trigger you constipation.”
The frequent must urinate, generally known as an overactive bladder (OAB), could be brought on by circumstances corresponding to diabetes, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and bladder most cancers, based on the Mayo Clinic.
The location explains that anticholinergic medicine can deal with the issue by blocking the motion of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger: “Acetylcholine sends alerts to your mind that set off bladder contractions related to an overactive bladder,” says the Mayo Clinic. “These bladder contractions may cause a must urinate even when the bladder is not full.”
Anticholinergic drugs embody: Oxybutynin (Ditropan XL, Oxytrol, Gelnique) and Tolterodine (Detrol, Detrol LA), and might generally trigger dry mouth and constipation, the Mayo Clinic studies, noting that taking the drug in an extended-release type taken as soon as a day might assist.
Referred to as antiemetics, anti-nausea medicine can deal with nausea that’s brought on by numerous elements together with chemotherapy therapy, stress, and sicknesses. “There are each over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription antiemetics,” explains WebMD. “When you have delicate nausea or vomiting, you may get an OTC antiemetic out of your native drug retailer or grocery retailer, [but] in case you have extreme nausea and are vulnerable to dehydration, your physician might prescribe you a stronger anti-nausea medicine.”
“It’s value asking your physician if there are various brokers,” Bryan Curtin, MD, tells SingleCare. “If there may be one other class of medicine that may deal with the underlying well being drawback, you must at the least be given the choice.”
Finest Life gives probably the most up-to-date info from high consultants, new analysis, and well being businesses, however our content material just isn’t meant to be an alternative to skilled steerage. Relating to the medicine you are taking or every other well being questions you’ve got, at all times seek the advice of your healthcare supplier instantly.