suffering from constipation

Can melatonin cause constipation?

The body creates a hormone called melatonin. It regulates the day and night cycles also referred to as the sleep-wake cycles.

Typically, melatonin supplements are made in a lab. In response to darkness, the body creates more melatonin, which instructs the body to go to sleep. Light inhibits the creation of melatonin, telling the body it is time to wake up.

People often wonder if melatonin has any constipation-causing adverse effects. Is this really the case?

In this post, we’ll examine what melatonin is, how long it lasts, how much to take, and whether it can lead to constipation.

Melatonin: What is it?

A hormone called melatonin aids in the proper operation of the body’s circadian rhythms. The pineal gland makes the hormone melatonin.

The pineal gland stops releasing melatonin when the retinas in the eyes absorb light throughout the day. The drop in light as the sun sets causes melatonin production to occur.

For people who have problems going asleep or staying asleep all night, melatonin, a hormone that occurs naturally, is also sold as an over-the-counter sleep aid.

How does melatonin function?

Melatonin is created by the pineal gland, which is situated in the middle of your brain. For the pineal gland, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) is responsible.

The SCN is a collection of neurons, or nerve cells, in the hypothalamus. For the purpose of controlling your body’s clock, these neurons talk to one another.

During the day, the eye’s retina absorbs light and sends signals to the SCN. The pineal gland is then told by the SCN to stop making melatonin. You will stay awake thanks to this. The situation is reversed at night, though.

The pineal gland is triggered by the SCN and releases melatonin when exposed to darkness. Your blood pressure and body temperature drop as your melatonin levels rise.

Melatonin also enters the SCN, where it slows neuronal activation and gets your body ready for sleep.

How long does it take melatonin to start working?

The body quickly absorbs melatonin. One hour after taking an oral pill, melatonin reaches its maximal level.

You could feel sleepy right about now. Like other drugs, melatonin affects individuals differently. You could observe the results sooner or later.

What is the lifespan of melatonin?

The half-life of melatonin is between one and two hours. This is simply a function of the formulation. The time it takes the body to metabolize half of a drug dose is referred to as the half-life.

The body needs about 4-5 half-lives to completely remove a medication. According to the dose and formulation, OTC melatonin has a half-life of 4–10 hours in the body.

Can melatonin cause constipation?

Yes, melatonin can cause constipation. The means by which it causes constipation isn’t fully understood but a number of potential explanations have been proposed.

One such is that melatonin may affect the muscles of the intestines in a way that slows down movement in the digestive tract which eventually leads to constipation.

Also, melatonin can affect the production of certain chemicals in the body that is supposed to help regulate digestion. These can also cause constipation.

In addition, some people may be more sensitive to the side effects of melatonin, which could increase their risk of experiencing constipation.

Tips for managing constipation related to melatonin use

If you usually experience constipation whiles taking melatonin, there are a couple of ways you can take to control this problem. Here are some tips for managing constipation related to melatonin use:

  1. Talk to your doctor: If you are taking melatonin and experiencing constipation, it is important to speak with your doctor about the possible connection. Your doctor can assess your overall health and medication use to determine whether melatonin is contributing to your constipation and whether you should continue taking it.
  2. Consider alternative treatment options: If your doctor determines that melatonin is causing your constipation, they may recommend alternative treatment options for your sleep problems. These could include lifestyle changes, such as establishing a regular sleep schedule and reducing stress, or other medications that do not have constipation as a side effect.
  3. Increase fluid and fiber intake: Staying hydrated and consuming a diet high in fiber can help prevent constipation. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and include sources of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, in your meals.
  4. Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help keep your digestive system functioning properly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking, on most days of the week.

The determinants of how the body reacts to melatonin

The way your body reacts to melatonin can be influenced by a variety of environmental variables.

Among them are old age, smoking, caffeine use, and other medications, general health conditions, body composition, sleep habits, etc.

Melatonin in its regular and extended forms

Regular melatonin pills have a fast supplement release. As soon as you ingest them, they disintegrate, releasing melatonin into your bloodstream right away.

On the other hand, extended-release melatonin wears off gradually. It gradually releases melatonin over time, which may be similar to how your body naturally makes melatonin at night.

This is said to improve your ability to sleep at night. Slow-release melatonin, continuous-release melatonin, temporal-release melatonin, prolonged-release melatonin, and controlled-release melatonin are other names for extended-release melatonin.

What is the best time to take melatonin?

In 60 minutes, melatonin levels reach their peak. Therefore, you should take melatonin 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed.

But it’s important to remember that melatonin works differently on various people. A small dose of melatonin may be started 30 minutes before to going to bed.

They can alter the timing and dose following their particular sleeping habits. Melatonin shouldn’t generally be used after people go to bed.

Their sleep-wake cycle could be disturbed as a result of this. It’s possible to feel drowsy during the day or to sleep later than anticipated.

What are the side effects caused by melatonin?

Minor or sporadic sleep problems may be helped with melatonin. Contrarily, melatonin may cause modest side effects such as fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, insomnia, liver issues, and dependence.

Less frequent melatonin adverse effects include minor tremors, mild anxiety, nightmares, and decreased attentiveness.

There are some melatonin substitutes. Lavender, magnesium, lemon balm, and passion flower are a few of these.

Special warnings and precautions

Pregnancy

Melatonin may be dangerous if consumed frequently or in large doses when attempting to get pregnant. It might have contraceptive-like effects that make getting pregnant more challenging.

Melatonin use during pregnancy isn’t known to be safe due to a lack of sufficient, trustworthy information.

It is advisable to avoid using melatonin when pregnant or trying to get pregnant until additional information is available.

Breast-feeding

Melatonin safety during breastfeeding is unknown due to a lack of sufficient, trustworthy data. Avoid use to be on the safe side.

Children

Melatonin may be safe when consumed orally and used temporarily. When administered at levels up to 3 mg per day for children and 5 mg per day for teenagers, melatonin is typically well tolerated.

Melatonin’s potential to obstruct adolescent development has raised some questions. Only kids with medical needs should take melatonin.

The safety of long-term oral melatonin administration to children is unknown due to a lack of sufficient data.

Disorders of bleeding

In patients with bleeding issues, melatonin might exacerbate bleeding.

Depression

Depression symptoms may worsen when melatonin is used.

Elevated blood pressure

Melatonin can cause blood pressure to rise in patients who are using specific blood pressure-lowering drugs. Don’t use it.

Disorders of seizures

Melatonin use could make you more likely to get seizures.

Receivers of transplants

It’s common practice for transplant recipients to take immunosuppressive drugs. Melatonin may improve immunological performance. Some transplant drugs’ effects may be affected by this.

Summary

Yes, melatonin can cause constipation. Therefore, if you are generally susceptible to constipation, then you have to be a little mindful when taking melatonin.

Let your doctor know about any concerns you have concerning suffering from possible constipation.

In general, melatonin should be taken 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime. Getting started normally takes 30 minutes.

Depending on your age and general health, melatonin can stay in your body for up to 5 hours.

Use the lowest dosage of melatonin possible to avoid overdosing and reduce potential side effects like constipation. If you consume too much melatonin, your circadian cycle may be thrown off, and constipation may also be a side effect.

WRITTEN AND EDITED RESPECTIVELY BY:

Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for enochkabange.com and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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