I have chronic pain and take narcotics. Can probiotics help me?

There are no studies directly looking at probiotic use for opioid-induced constipation, however, we do know narcotic pain medicines (including opioids, medicines like Lortab, Norco, oxycodone, Oxycontin, methadone, morphine, etc.) cause constipation. They do this by binding receptors in the intestine, and therefore slowing peristalsis. (Peristalsis is the squeezing mechanism that helps move stool through the gut.) For this reason, incorporating probiotics for use with narcotics should cancel out such constipation.

To help combat this narcotic-caused constipation, I recommend foods and probiotics that both lubricate the gut and encourage peristalsis. 

Foods that Both Lubricate the Gut and Encourage Peristalisis

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus (found in yogurt, pickles, as well as many other foods)
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (found in yogurt, kefir, miso, as well as many other foods)
  • Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Coconuts
  • Figs
  • Bran from oats, wheat, and rice

Foods that Lubricate the Intestines

  • Seaweed
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Honey
  • Prunes
  • Peaches
  • Pears

Foods that Create a Soothing Mucous on the Lining of the Intestine

In addition, like probiotics, both fermented foods (miso, sauerkraut, kefir, etc.) and green algaes enhance the flora of the gut.

Don’t take narcotics and need some reasons to incorporate probiotics into your diet? Then check out this blog post on the health benefits of probiotics.

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