What is constipation?

constipation heroinConstipation is broadly defined as unsatisfactory defecation characterized by infrequent stools, difficult stool passage or both.​
 

Signs of constipation

1. Difficult and/or painful bowel movements
2. Bowel movements less often than three times a week
3. Feeling uncomfortable in the lower abdomen
4. Pain or cramping in the abdomen

 

Heroin and constipation

Heroin has powerful anti-diarrheal effects. Consequently, those who use heroin typically develop constipation. As a matter of fact, constipation is the most common side effect of heroin use.

Heroin induced constipation also has a dose response relationship. In other words, as the dose increases, the more likely that person is to develop constipation or it may simply increase the severity of constipation.

Lastly, tolerance to constipation never develops. Therefore as long as you’re using heroin, you remain at risk of constipation.

 

Why heroin causes constipation

Heroin affects three primary opioid receptors mu, delta and kappa. When heroin activates opioid receptors within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract it changes how the GI functions.

Heroin induced constipation can be explained by specific mechanisms upon GI muscles and intestinal secretions. Such that heroin;

1. Suppresses peristalsis (contraction and relaxation of stomach muscles)

2. Reduces intestinal secretions

3. Increases fluid absorption

4. Increases anal sphincter tone i.e. it constricts anal sphincter muscles

 

3 things that help you go

Most heroin addicts suffer from constipation. Their bowel movements can be uncomfortable or even painful. If this problem is left unchecked, it can lead to more serious problems such as bowel obstructions. Luckily, there are some simple things that you can eat that may help relieve your constipation.

 

Drinking water

Water is always the first line of defense against constipation. Bowel movements are made up of a huge percentage of water, so never discount hydration when it comes to alleviating constipation. Many heroin addicts are chronically dehydrated and never even know it. If you are constipated, it’s a good idea to increase your water intake.

 

Eat ripe bananas

Ripe bananas are full of pectin, which is a kind of fiber that changes the textures of bananas. Pectin can help in easing your bowel movements. Ironically, unripe bananas actually CAUSE constipation, but if you wait to eat your banana until it’s perfectly ripe, i.e. yellow all over with brown spots, then you no longer run the risk of getting constipated.

 

Flax seeds

Flaxseeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, they are also full of magnesium, which is a mineral that may act as a laxative because it draws water into your stools, softening them and making them easier to pass.

 

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