Men's Health (Singapore) - - HEALTH -

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.

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