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Does Meth Make You Constipated?

Many people who use methamphetamine can experience constipation. Factors that can contribute to constipation in people who are on meth include loss of appetite, tooth decay, intestinal ischemia, and GI irritation, among others.

Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, releases dopamine in your central nervous system, creating a high level of euphoria and energy. This makes meth abuse and addiction easy to fall into.

This rush of energy, coupled with meth’s power to suppress appetite, may make it seem like a great way to lose weight.

But long-term use of meth can cause serious gastrointestinal side effects, such as constipation.

How Meth Use Causes Constipation

The following are contributing factors to constipation caused by meth use:

Loss Of Appetite

Meth drug addiction can cause you to lose your appetite. And if you don’t eat, your body doesn’t get enough nutrients and fluids to keep things running smoothly.

A lack of appetite also means you’re not eating enough fiber, which means less frequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.

Tooth Decay (Meth Mouth)

Like opioids, amphetamines, and other stimulants, meth can cause your mouth to dry out and lead to tooth decay. You can’t digest food properly if you don’t have enough saliva.

Gum inflammation and gum disease can be caused by bad bacteria in your mouth. Worse, when you swallow food, bad bacteria in your saliva travel to your digestive tract.

And due to a digestive system imbalance, these microorganisms can cause digestive issues.

Gastrointestinal Irritation

Meth use can affect the stomach as well by irritating your gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to constipation.

The irritation and inflammation of your GI tract are caused by a number of factors, including poor diet, dehydration, and damage to intestinal tissue from drug use.

Other Effects Of Meth On The GI Tract

People who abuse meth long-term may experience intestinal ischemia or an interruption in blood flow to an organ.

When a person uses meth, their heart rate and blood pressure can increase dramatically, narrowing the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to organs throughout their body.

The intestines are particularly sensitive to these changes, because they are located downstream from major blood vessels supplying oxygen-rich blood.

Therefore, when there is a change in blood flow through these vessels, it causes significant problems for the intestines.

Intestinal Ischemia

Long-term meth abuse can lead to intestinal ischemia or an interruption in blood flow to an organ.

When a person uses meth, their heart rate and blood pressure can increase dramatically, narrowing the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to organs throughout a person’s body.

The intestines are particularly sensitive to these changes because they are located downstream from major blood vessels supplying oxygen-rich blood.

Therefore, when there is a change in blood flow through these vessels, it causes significant problems for the intestines.

Increased Bowel Movement

In addition to constipation, chronic meth abuse can also cause increased bowel movements. Two conditions lead to this effect.

First, it’s caused by intestinal ischemia, which causes a loss of muscle tone in a person’s intestines. Second, chronic meth abuse increases intestinal secretions.

These effects result in more frequent bowel movements.

Is Meth-Induced Constipation Dangerous?

Constipation means having less than three bowel movements per week, with stools that are hard to pass and persist for a month or longer.

Meth-induced constipation is more than just an inconvenience; it can have serious consequences for one’s health.

The following are some of the consequences of straining that can occur:

  • torn anus (anal fissures)
  • rectal prolapse
  • fecal impaction
  • hemorrhoids

Meth drug abuse can have other effects, too, such as irregular brain damage, high blood pressure, dry mouth, and violent behavior.

First-time users may experience irregular body temperature and dilated pupils.

According to National Institutes for Health, snorting meth and other addictive drugs can cause hyperactivity, hepatitis, psychosis disorder, overdose, and death.

Treatment Options For Meth-Induced Constipation

Various substance abuse treatments can help manage meth-induced constipation.

Nutritional Supplements

The first step in treating meth-induced constipation is to ensure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet.

If you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, a fiber supplement can help make up for it.

Detox

Detoxing from meth will help restore your normal bowel function and relieve constipation.

A medical professional can help you safely detox from meth and manage any withdrawal symptoms.

If you detox on your own, you could experience severe side effects or even relapse. That’s why it’s important to get help from a specialist.

While detoxing from meth, staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet are essential.

If you’re still having trouble going to the bathroom, you may try taking an osmotic laxative or a stimulant laxative*. These are safe for both short-term and long-term use.

*This is not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care.

Treatment Programs For Meth Addiction

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many professional treatment providers have identified twelve-step programs as an essential part of comprehensive addiction treatment for meth.

These programs help change thinking and behavior to achieve long-term recovery from drug dependence.

They focus on discovering new coping skills rather than simply reducing or eliminating substance use.

The most effective meth rehab programs will be inpatient programs involving such treatments as behavioral therapy, group counseling, and detox, among others.

Your healthcare professional may also prescribe medications to treat cravings and co-occurring disorders, such as ADHD, mental illness, weight loss, and other health problems.

Find Substance Use Disorder Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

Constipation can be frustrating and challenging to deal with on top of having an addiction to meth.

Fortunately, you or your loved one can find substance use disorder treatment at Bedrock Recovery Center today.

Contact Bedrock now to learn how you can recover from methamphetamine addiction.

Written by
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team

©2022 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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