10 Ways to Beat Methadone Constipation - Fiber, Fleet Enemas, Exercise, Bacterial Yoghurts…
Methadone can cause some pretty horrific constipation, and while it's no one's favorite topic of conversation, chronic methadone constipation is no joke, can be a serious health condition, and is really really not fun.
Here are some collected tips for dealing with one of methadone's very worst side effects.
10 Constipation Cures
Be very careful with laxatives. Although these can be effective, they are not generally an appropriate solution for chronic constipation, and if used too often, can actually worsen the problem. The bowel can get "addicted" to the laxatives, and move even more sluggishly, or not at all, without them. If none of these more natural methods produce results, speak with your doctor about prescribed medication options.
- Water - It sounds too easy, but dehydration will cause constipation and exacerbate an already bad situation. Make sure you drink plenty of water every day.
- Fiber - Eat plenty of fiber rich foods. Raisin Bran is an old stand-bye, as are prunes, bananas, papaya etc. You can also supplement your fiber intake with natural psyllium husk fiber drinks. The psyllium husks will absorb water in the intestines and swell, helping to move stools along - but you must be sure to drink plenty of water for best effect and to avoid dehydration.
- Yoghurt with live bacterial culture - Eating probiotic yoghurts regularly ensures that your digestive system stays fine tuned with beneficial bacteria that help to eliminate gas and bloat as they improve efficiency.
- Stool softeners - These over the counter medications are quite safe. They work by drawing more water into the large intestine to soften hardened stools, allowing for an easier and less strained bowel movement.
- Exercise - A brisk walk, or even better, a regularly scheduled brick walk, will help to improve digestive activity and the passing of stools.
- Squatting - Some people find that changing their toilet position helps. Squatting is a very natural position for a bowel movement and can be more comfortable for passing hardened stools.
- Fleet enemas - These enemas draw the body's own water into the large intestine, causing an almost immediate need for a bowel movement.
- Warm water enemas - The old enema bag, although no one's favorite, can help to get things moving. Some methadone users even swear by "turkey baster" style enema syringes.
- A daily tablespoon of flaxseed oil is a natural laxative (as well as a good source of omega 3).
- A warm bath.
Avoiding foods that exacerbate the problem - Milk and cheese are no-no's, the casein protein in dairy products can slow down the processing of food.
It's tough, and some people will always struggle with methadone constipation, but sometimes trying a new natural method works wonders - and every little bit helps.