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Can constipation make you tired?

Dr Mark Porter / 27 August 2018 ( 20 February 2019 )

Dr Mark Porter responds to a reader’s question about recent bowel problems and lethargy.

Thyroid check
A doctor examines a patient's thyroid

Q: Can constipation make you tired? I am normally an active woman for my age (62), but since developing constipation a few months ago, I feel exhausted. And while laxatives sort my bowels out, my energy has not returned.

A: Changes in bowel habit and low energy warrant a trip to your GP. There are many possible causes, from anaemia secondary to a bowel problem to an underactive thyroid.

Thyroid problems affect at least one in 50 women at some stage, with most cases picked up at your age. The thyroid gland helps regulate your metabolism and too little thyroid hormone results in symptoms ranging from fatigue and intolerance to cold, to deepening of the voice, weight gain, constipation, hair loss and changes to your complexion and nails. Book in to see your doctor, please.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.