OPIOID PAIN KILLERS
Approximately 50 percent of patients who use opioid pain relievers suffer from some form of constipation, says Dr Dorn. That’s because these prescription meds affect the gut in a number of ways.
First, opioids reduce something called forward peristalsis, a series of automatic muscle contractions that push food through your digestive system. Motility slows down, leading to more absorption of water and fluid from the stool.
Opioids also hamper the secretions of fluids into the gastrointestinal tract. “The combination of reduced gastrointestinal motility and reduced secretion of fluid results in a harder stool that is more difficult to expel,” he says.