A common side effect of methadone, as well as other opiates, is constipation. People generally do not like to discuss this, but they really should. Constipation can result in abdominal pain. This can worsen the discomfort that you may go through during withdrawals, adding to the misery of addiction.
There are many causes of constipation. Check with your doctor before treating it yourself. Like everything else, your should have a firm diagnosis before treating any condition. You don’t want to delay a diagnosis of something serious. Also, you don’t want to treat it with something that could possibly make your condition worse. The treatment can sometimes cause complications for other medical problems you may have. Be safe, and check with your doctor before starting any treatment.
The good news is that it can usually be treated very easily. In most cases, the constipation caused by methadone does not require any medication at all. Simply adding a lot of fiber and water to your diet can get rid of the problem.
Fiber works because it is not absorbed by your gut (intestines). The fiber stays there. It absorbs water from the rest of your body while sitting in your gut, as long as you have extra water in your body to spare. The only way you can have extra water is if you drink enough water. For most people, you would need to drink 2 liters of water a day. Ask your doctor about how much water you would need.
Please note that coffee and alcohol do not count as water. Both of these actually caused you to urinate out more water than you consume in that drink. Consider them to be negative water. This is a common mistake. If you only drink coffee for fluids, then you are not really taking much in at all.
The best source of fiber is fibrous vegetables and fruits. Generally, if it gets caught in your teeth, then it is probably fiber, except for things like meat. Most fiber in fruits comes from the skin. That is why bananas do not actually have much fiber. We don’t generally eat the peel.
If you don’t want to eat more, or can’t afford to buy more, vegetables and fruits, then a great source of fiber is All Bran cereal. By ‘All Bran’ I mean the cereal that actually says All Bran, not Bran Flakes, etc. All Bran cereal is basically 100% bran fiber. Other cereals tend to have significantly less. Check the nutritional information on the side of the box and compare the amount of fibre to your current cereal and you will see that there’s a huge difference. You do not need to change cereals. You can just add All Bran to your current cereal.
You can also cook with All Bran.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that males aged 19-50 should eat 38 grams of fiber per day. Females aged 19-50 should have 25 g per day. Men over 50 should have 30 g per day, whereas women above 50 should have 21 g per day.
Another great source of fiber is Metamucil. This is probably the most expensive way to get fiber. There are many other formulations. Check the nutritional information on the product you are considering. Also consider the other things that are in the product. If you are unsure, check with your doctor before using it.
Fibre may cause problems for you if you have certain medical issues. Check with your doctor before changing your diet too much.
So, basically you need two things to get rid of your constipation. Fiber and water. If you honestly tried both of these at the same time, and still have constipation, then mention this to your doctor. There may be another cause of the constipation other than just using opiates.