Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

When taken appropriately, antibiotics are potent drugs that treat some diseases and can even save lives. They either kill germs or prevent them from multiplying.

Your immune system can usually eliminate bacteria before they grow and produce symptoms. Even if symptoms appear, the immune system is typically able to handle and ward off the infection because white blood cells destroy harmful germs.

Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

However, occasionally there are too many dangerous germs for the immune system to completely eliminate. The usage of antibiotics is appropriate here.

Although taking antibiotics can be helpful for general health problems, there are a variety of potential adverse effects.

But may taking antibiotics make you constipated (see also “Is There A Potential Link Between Constipation And Chest Pain?“)? In reality, stomach distress, which affects around 1 in 10 persons taking antibiotics, is the most commonly known side effect.

The symptoms of digestive distress include nausea, stomach upset, irregular bowel motions, stomach cramps, back pain, and diarrhoea.

Given that more than 4 million Americans experience regular bouts of constipation, it is crucial to comprehend the causes of chronic constipation if one is to enhance gut health.

Antibiotic-induced constipation is a very common side effect, yet it is frequently ignored. The primary justification is that diarrhoea, not constipation, is the most frequent side effect of antibiotics. But taking antibiotics can also make you constipated. 

In order to treat diseases brought on by bacteria, antibiotics are needed. They frequently also kill the beneficial gut bacteria in the process. 

This is thought to upset the delicate balance of the gut flora and cause a variety of digestive problems. One of the primary causes of antibiotic-induced constipation is compromised gut flora after treatment.

However, there are many different ways you can treat constipation, so taking antibiotics is still more beneficial than not treating the underlying condition. Keep reading to learn more about antibiotic-induced constipation and how to deal with it.

How Do Antibiotics Work?

Antibiotics are prescribed by a doctor to treat bacterial infections. Viral defence is ineffective.

Effective treatment of an infection depends on knowing whether it is bacterial or viral.

Most upper respiratory illnesses, including the flu and the common cold are brought on by viruses. These viruses are not susceptible to antibiotics.

Antibiotics may cause germs to grow resistant if they are misused or overused. As a result of the bacterium being able to strengthen its defences, the antibiotic loses some of its effectiveness against that particular species of bacterium.

Antibiotics come in a variety of forms, each of which function differently.  The germs are eliminated with bactericidal antibiotics like penicillin. The bacterial wall or the contents of the cell are typically interfered with by these medications.

A bacteriostatic prevents bacterial growth. After taking the initial dose, it could take just a few hours or even several days before someone feels better or the symptoms become better.

A broad-spectrum antibiotic can be prescribed by a doctor to treat a variety of ailments. A narrow-spectrum antibiotic works exclusively on a small number of bacteria.

While some antibiotics target anaerobic bacteria, others target aerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria don’t require oxygen while aerobic bacteria do.

Antibiotics may occasionally be prescribed by a medical expert in order to prevent infection rather than treat it, such as before surgery. This is how antibiotics are used “prophylactically.” These antibiotics are frequently taken before orthopaedic and gastrointestinal operations.

Do Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

Constipation is among the most frequently encountered adverse effects of taking antibiotics and can certainly occur. As a result, it’s critical that you only use antibiotics on a doctor’s advice to prevent further damage to your immune system and digestive system (see also “10 Best Vitamins For Your Digestive Health“).

The way that antibiotics function is by altering your intestinal flora, which is a collection of microorganisms that live in the large intestine and are also referred to as gut bacteria.

There are helpful microorganisms in the gut flora. This guarantees the healthy operation of your intestinal muscles and gut.

Depending on your levels of gut bacteria, antibiotics may be a life-saving and essential prescription to take, but they cannot tell the difference between these harmful and beneficial bacteria.

As a result, it eliminates both the pathogenic type and the necessary bacteria which your body requires to function.

The “good” gut bacteria, such Lactobacillus acidophilus and Akkermansia muciniphila, are in charge of assisting your body in breaking down food so that you can have a painless bowel movement.

When you don’t have enough of these good gut bacteria, your body finds it difficult to digest complex sugars, which can lead to constipation.

How Do Antibiotics Impact The Gastrointestinal Tract?

Your gut health can suffer as a result of antibiotic use, as was previously mentioned. The usual flora equilibrium between the beneficial and harmful bacteria in the stomach can be unsettled and disrupted by taking antibiotics in high doses or for an extended period of time.

In order to optimise digestion for numerous weekly bowel movements, the proper balance must be maintained.

When food cannot be effectively digested or absorbed into the body, constipation results.

Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, so any good bacteria that survives cannot effectively manufacture enough enzymes to break the food down into smaller, more digestible bits.

Bloating and stomach discomfort result from the food waste being too large to pass easily through your body’s digestive tract.

This frequently leads to stoma getting caught in the rectum, which upsets the stomach, makes you feel full, and eventually leads to constipation.

Can Antibiotics Cause Constipation?

Treatment For Constipation Caused By Antibiotics

Antibiotic constipation may require a slightly different approach to treatment than other forms of constipation. The primary distinction is brought about by the damaged gut flora. 

As a result, the body may need extra time to heal and restore its gut flora. According to research, the recovery period might last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Here are a few things you need to be aware of:

  • Digestive problems: At this time, you can also experience additional digestive problems like bloating and gas. Digestion might not always be optimal because a balanced gut flora is necessary for the body to digest meals properly.
  • Medicine: Although laxatives and medications for constipation are frequently used, they are not intended to repair the harmed gut flora. You can get constipation once more if you stop taking the medication for it.
  • Treatment: Because of these factors, it’s crucial to deal with both problems while treating constipation brought on by antibiotics: ease the symptoms as needed and restore the gut flora.

How To Get Rid Of Antibiotic-Related Constipation Naturally

It is always better to consult your doctor if you get constipation after taking antibiotics. particularly if you’ve been constipated for more than one week or if you notice other problems. However, you can use our step-by-step process below to get some relief:

Step 1: Perform An Oxygen Colon Cleanse

By performing an oxygen colon cleanse, you can assist your body in clearing the stool accumulation and reduce constipation.

As its name implies, oxygen colon cleanse releases oxygen throughout the digestive system to loosen and soften the dry solid stool buildup so that it can be naturally eliminated by the system through regular bowel movements. 

The oxygen colon cleanse functions in a fully natural and safe way, unlike laxatives or other constipation medications. 

It doesn’t make you rely on laxatives or push your body to have a bowel movement. Because of this, oxygen colon cleansing is seen as safer and is frequently recommended by natural health professionals.

Utilising an oxygen colon cleanser:

Before going to bed, take 4 Oxy-Powder capsules with 8 ounces of natural spring water or distilled water with an empty stomach, free from any foods or other supplements.

Expect to have several bowel movements the next day, with a significant amount of the accumulated waste being removed. When the stool buildup is flushed out, the majority of people experience a great deal of relief.

Start with 2 capsules if you haven’t taken oxy-powder before, and if necessary, increase the dosage gradually. Increase the potency of the water by including the juice of one-half of an organic lemon.

Step 2: Use Probiotics To Restore Gut Flora

It is generally recognise as a best practice to take probiotics to restore the beneficial bacteria after using antibiotics.

The idea of employing probiotics after taking antibiotics has been well investigated and is advocated by numerous published research as a natural efficient method that may speed up the restoration of the gut flora.

Given that the body can take anything from a few weeks to several months to recover on its own, this is particularly crucial.

Step 3: Constipation Diet

It’s also quite helpful to alter your eating habits until you experience regular bowel motions.

Eat less of the foods that make you constipated. 

Particularly bad foods include those that are processed or “junk food,” dairy items, gluten, grains, foods with a dry or hard quality, foods that are difficult to digest (such beans and legumes), foods heavy in iron and calcium (like red meat or dairy), and fried foods.

 25–30 grams of fibre per day from fresh, whole, ripe vegetables and fruits is a healthy amount that is suitable for the majority of people. 

More is not always better in terms of fibre. Avoid consuming too much fibre because it might bulk up your stools, making them overly big and challenging to pass.

Keep hydrated. In order to prevent constipation from getting worse, drink plenty of water and try to stay away from stimulants and caffeinated beverages, which have a diuretic effect on the body.

Final Thoughts

While constipation is a common side effect from taking antibiotic medications, there are many ways the symptoms can be effectively managed. 

It’s still important to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed to you even if you experience this symptom in order to effectively treat the underlying illness.

Clark Ruffington
Latest posts by Clark Ruffington (see all)