Could Constipation Be Caused By Antihistamines?
The simple answer is:
Yes, constipation can be a side effect of antihistamines. It should be said that constipation and the dehydration that causes it may be caused by antihistamine drugs like Zyrtec, Benadryl and Claritin.
You might have stumbled upon this post because you are having regularity issues and already noticed some of the long-term effects of antihistamines. The truth that doctors won’t tell you about these prescription and OTC antihistamine drugs is that they can cause chronic complications. Among those, physical addiction and constipation seems to be the worst.
These drugs can cause changes in your body like side effects, as well as from the mechanism of blocking chemical histamine itself. You should remember that taking any drug, or eating any food for that matter, affects your body in ways that you can’t sense immediately. Chemistry is just too complicated to think that everything we put in our body is what it seems.
Let me explain a little bit about my own personal experiences with the antihistamines that’ve given me constipation issues. Then, I will share with you what fixed my problem with antihistamines and allergies entirely.
How Do Antihistamines Cause Constipation?
The mechanism that causes someone to have regularity issues while taking an antihistamine like Zyrtec is its ability to dehydrate the body.
When you take an antihistamine, don’t you notice that you get more thirsty throughout the day? That’s because the drug is causing dehydration as a side effect.
And when you think about it, you’re introducing this drug to your digestive system. So your intestines are actually the organs that come into contact with this drug first before it hits your bloodstream. Therefore, it’s the first to get dehydrated.
A lot of people with allergies are quite ignorant about what histamine really is, how it functions, and why our own bodies produce it in the first place. To these people, I’d ask “You think your body has evolved to produce something naturally so it can hinder your personal survival?”
That’s definitely not the case. Every animal’s body has adapted and evolved through generations of natural selection so its chances of survival are improved with time. There aren’t many examples of mistakes by nature, let alone the advancement of a gene that hinders the survivability of an individual.
And you’d think all animals have histamine by accident? It was a mutation that slipped through all those billions of years until now?
That’s silly because histamine has many roles in the body. And there are many different types of histamine. So many types that I actually find it ridiculous how we have just one name for all these different compounds that serve different purposes: histamine.
Certain types of histamine are important for hydration within your body and especially your mucus membranes. It’s the histamine that is activating your mucus membranes to be moist so that it can eliminate toxins or pathogens through your sinuses.
Histamine also activates hydration mechanisms throughout your body, including your internal organs like the intestines. If you are suffering from any condition, like constipation, you must think deeper about what’s causing it. Dehydration of your intestines is causing it, which is caused by something blocking histamine receptors.
Read more here about how antihistamines can cause dehydration in this way.
My Personal Experience With Antihistamines and Constipation
I’ll just be straight up and tell you that I strongly correlated these types of side effects with Zyrtec, among many others. I took Cetirizine for about 2 years and during those long and brutal times, I constantly suffered from not being able to properly pass the “leftovers.”
I also remember being extremely dehydrated. At times after I took a Zyrtec, I would forget to drink water for an hour and start to believe I was dying of thirst. Then, I swear I could drink a gallon of water because of how thirsty I was.
This is proof to me, from my experience, that Zyrtec is extremely dehydrating. On top of that, it made my sinuses painfully dry as well. You know when you inhale through your nose and it actually hurts when the air is going in? Of all the antihistamines I’ve tried, Zyrtec was by far the worst with Benadryl coming in a close second.
If that’s what was going on with my sinuses, I was just imagining what was going on within my body. More specifically, my digestive tract was probably drier than the Sahara at this time.
I knew that I needed to get off this dangerous antihistamine because it has given me many different side effects in the past. In addition to the dryness, I had emotional problems, insomnia, itching, and most importantly: physical addiction.
Once I finally stopped taking a destructive OTC antihistamine and switched to a gentler, natural antihistamine, my life make a complete one-eighty.
Coming Off of an Addictive Antihistamine
If you are scared about potentially quitting your allergy medication, please check out my experience and others’ who are joining me overcome this addiction with my popular antihistamine withdrawal post here.
In that blog post, I describe some of the contradictions histamine blocking has. I try to shine light on the true ignorance of Western doctors who prescribe medications that they don’t understand. That, or they’re being bribed by the pharmaceutical companies they are prescribing for. That’s unfortunately a side effect of how it may work with our capitalistic-ish economies.
The truth is that antihistamines like Zyrtec and Benadryl are potentially addictive. They are addictive physically in ways that you might not feel until you stop taking it, but they are also psychologically addictive just like any other pleasure-inducing substance.
If you’ve been taking this medication steadily for months, you might not even be aware of these long-term complications. But if you accidentally forgot to take it one day, then you might have gotten a taste of what’s to come already.
In my opinion and from my own experience, I would recommend that you don’t keep feeding the fire because it’s just going to catch up to you. And then after you’ve been feeding it for so long, the addiction will grow to be extremely hard to give up in the future.
I was on Zyrtec for about a year and I can tell you that it was very hard to give up at that time. This withdrawal phase stole about a week’s worth of productive time for me. If I had waited another year, it could have taken an exponentially longer amount of time.
Antihistamines, like most other drugs, may prove that ignorance is not bliss at all. These drugs make you feel better, clear, and with no allergies. They may make you feel as if they are good for you and that you need to take more. However, drugs like these lie to you because when it wears off, the problem is much greater than it was initially.
My advice for quitting antihistamines is to take it slow. If you can’t dedicate a week of work-free vacation time, then don’t even do cold turkey with it. What’s worked best for me with quitting substances (Zyrtec, Benadryl, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, etc.) is to play the Pyramid Game.
First, try to go as long as you can without the antihistamine. When the withdrawal symptoms seem to start hindering your productivity, take one to relieve the discomfort and get ready for round 2. From there, continue that cycle which should get easier and easier each time.
A Natural Antihistamine as a Replacement
You might have been wondering about the original issue that you were having in the first place: allergies. Once you stop taking your OTC antihistamine, your allergy symptoms will likely surge during the withdrawal phase and then go back to normal again.
It’s understandable that you don’t want any allergies or side effects at all, and that’s what I’m here to provide you with. There are also ways to make the antihistamine withdrawal phase much easier.
What I’m talking about is a natural antihistamine like quercetin. This supplement derived from onions is completely food-based, effective as an antihistamine, and has no harsh side effects for most people.
After I switched to a quercetin brand like this one that I get on Amazon, my life changed for the better. I started my new life, free from the chains of antihistamine addiction. But the best part of it: I was completely free from allergies with quercetin.
You only need to take it as needed and if you forget about taking it for a day, your allergy symptoms won’t come back as strong because quercetin stays in your system for a much longer period of time. For some people, quercetin’s effects could last for up to 48 hours and some research is suggesting that long-term use of natural antihistamines can build a protection against the negative effects of histamine.
I highly recommend a natural antihistamine blend like quercetin, or one that contains it because you can experience side benefits rather than side effects. It doesn’t cause mental fatigue, insomnia, constipation, or anything like that, but it does help enhance focus, mood and energy levels while fighting allergies.
If you have a question or something to add about my experience with antihistamines and constipation, please leave me a comment with the form below!
Talk to you soon,