In the vast and enigmatic realm of human physiology, there exists an intriguing interplay between the mind and the body, which is often where the most peculiar yet intriguing connections lie, and we’re going to talk about one of them in this blog today.
The gut-brain axis has been widely studied by researchers over the past decade, laying out various scenarios where the mental condition of a person, at any particular moment, can decide how their gut health. This is also where the term "nervous poops" comes from, where you find yourself going to the bathroom more when you're nervous.
Take Adderall, for an example. It's a stimulant drug that can benefit people who have disorders like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and narcolepsy.
However, like all good things, taking Adderall has a lot of side effects too, and the ones we're focusing on today are centered around your gut health. It's quite common among Adderall users that they have more frequent bowel movements.
In short, Adderall can cause both constipation as well as diarrhea, or more bowel movements per week, as it makes you jittery and anxious, which affects the digestive system as you get increased gastric motility.
There's a lot more to cover in this connection between Adderall and the gut, so make sure to read till the end, and find out everything you need to know!
The Adderall Effect - How Does It Work?
Adderall is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called stimulants (better known as prescription stimulants), and as mentioned before, it’s typically prescribed to people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
The active ingredients in Adderall are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which, as research says, work together to stimulate certain parts of the brain and central nervous system.
For individuals with ADHD, Adderall helps to improve focus, reduce impulsivity, and increase attention span. It works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which play key roles in regulating attention and behavior.
In the case of narcolepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden episodes of sleep, Adderall functions as a wakefulness-promoting agent. By stimulating the central nervous system, it helps individuals with narcolepsy stay awake and alert during the day, reducing the frequency and intensity of sudden sleep attacks, and be more productive throughout the day
Adderall and The Digestive System
Though Adderall is a prescribed drug that works great for people with ADHD, there are a lot of side effects that can make things tricky for the people who take it, especially for gut health.
Here are a few ways in which taking Adderall might affect your digestive health.
Triggering The Flight-Or-Fight System
Adderall is a drug that targets the central nervous system, and while it’s great for stimulating certain parts of the brain to help cater to ADHD patients, it often triggers your flight-or-fight response, which can have a direct effect on your digestive health, as the gut-brain axis studies reveal.
When your fight-or-flight system is triggered, your body releases hormones that make you more active and concentrated, which can bring in digestive ailments like constipation, bloating, and more. We'll talk more about these ailments below.
The flight-or-fight system has a direct relation with your GI Tract, and when it's activated, your brain releases hormones that direct blood away from the digestive tract and pushes it toward the heart or the head. This can slow down digestion, causing you to become constipated.
This is also the reason why people who abuse Adderall can undergo a sudden cardiac death, as the hormones released all work to push the blood to the heart and head. Additionally, it can also cause brain and spinal cord problems, as this study explains.
Diarrhea and Bloating
One of the most predominant side effects of taking Adderall is feeling jittery and anxious, and this is where things like diarrhea, IBS, bloating, and other digestive ailments come into place. You might be constipated and have slower digestion when your fight-or-flight system is activated at first, but when the Adderall effect wears off, it might go in the other direction.
This means that you'll experience a faster digestion phase, marked by frequent bowel movements and loose stools. This is why doctors recommend taking Adderall first thing in the morning during breakfast, probably with a bowel stimulant such as coffee, to stay on top of your digestive ailments even with Adderall.
Abdominal Pain and Nausea
Adderall has vasoconstrictive properties, which, in simple words, means that it causes the muscles around your blood vessels to constrict and tighten. When this happens, you can experience all sorts of pain, which can range from mild to severe, including chest pain, stomach pain, chest pain, and more.
Severe Cases - Dangerous Side Effects Of Adderall
Though severe side effects of Adderall are hardly ever visible, and there are very few cases in which it happens, it's still a good practice to know what stimulant drugs like Adderall can do.
We've mentioned cardiac death can occur due to the vasoconstrictive properties of Adderall, which is when Adderall's effects mix with any underlying heart conditions you might have, and cause a failure in the heart. This is often why doctors ask if your family has a history of heart-related conditions before prescribing Adderall.
Some other severe effects of Adderall include, but are not limited to:
Skin rashes and allergic reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
Raynaud’s disease (lesser blood flow to fingers and toes)
Should You Take Adderall Without Being Prescribed?
Not. Taking Adderall without being prescribed can bring dire consequences to your health, as it's a stimulant drug prescribed after evaluating your overall health, family diseases, and more. Adderall can be life-threatening for people who have a history of heart-related conditions, mental health issues, and more, which is why we strictly recommend never taking Adderall without a doctor's prescription.
In addition to that, Adderall can behave differently in your body if you're also taking other medicine, which includes antidepressants and inhibitors. Being a Schedule II controlled substance by the FDA, it's a highly addictive drug, and misuse of it can cause addiction and abuse in the long run.
Better Alternatives For Healthy Bowel Movements
If taking Adderall is making you constipated, or loosening up all your stools, there are a lot of healthy alternatives, including dietary options, that can get your pooping habits back on track in no time.
Here are a few of them to get you started:
When it comes to digestive issues, nothing is more frustrating than being backed up or having to run to the bathroom all day. That’s where we recommend taking probiotics.
These tiny live organisms pack a big punch when it comes to getting your gut health back on track, and our best-selling probiotic supplement, IBSupport, is full of those!
Probiotics can help with both constipation and diarrhea by promoting healthy bacteria growth in the gut. By helping to balance the microbiome, probiotics can also improve overall digestion and nutrient absorption.
And the best part? You don't have to rely on antibiotics to get relief from gut issues - adding probiotics to your diet can be an easy and natural solution.
If there's one thing you want to keep on track, it’s your gut health. Thankfully, orange juice offers countless benefits that may help you do just that.
While many of us know that orange juice is a rich source of vitamin C, what some may not know is that it can also be great for keeping constipation and diarrhea at bay.
One reason for this is its high fiber content, which can help regulate digestion and keep everything moving smoothly.
Plus, its acidity can assist in breaking down food, making it easier on your digestive system. So, next time you're feeling a little backed up or experiencing stomach troubles, grab a glass of orange juice to give your gut the boost it needs.
The movies and cartoons, in addition to your grandma's not-so-good-looking drinks, might have convinced you otherwise, but prune juice is a very tasty drink that brings a lot of digestive benefits to the table.
The high fiber content in prune juice helps regulate your digestion by adding bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass.
Plus, the natural sugars in prunes can act as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good bacteria in your gut. So next time you're feeling a bit backed up or have an upset stomach, give prune juice a try and see if it can help get things moving again. Your gut will thank you!
If you're someone who takes Adderall or just got prescribed this drug, this guide helps you navigate the various side effects that this prescribed stimulant might bring. However, there are ways to counter the digestive ailments that Adderall might bring, and we've mentioned those above for you to read through.
Digestive problems can be quite a pain in the you-know-where, but we’ve got a lot of blogs, and a stream of supplements, that can help cater to that, so make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and stay on top of your digestive woes, one after the other.