ZocdocAnswersCan strep throat cause constipation?

Question

Can strep throat cause constipation?

I had a bout of strep throat and I got it treated. That was that, I thought - until a few days after it cleared up it became clear that I was really, really constipated. This NEVER happens to me, so I can't help but perceive a connection. Can strep throat cause constipation or no?

Answer

Strep throat, also known as Strep pharyngitis, is an infection of the upper airway caused by Group A Streptococcus, a common type of bacteria. It typically causes symptoms such as fever, sore throat, swollen and tender lymph nodes in the front of the neck, and a whitish coating to the tonsils in the back of the throat. Absence of cough is another predictor of Strep as a cause of sore throat. This infection is commonly treated with 10 days of antibiotics (such as Penicillin or Amoxicillin). Gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation are generally not associated with a Streptococcal infection, although younger patients may experience some nausea and even some vomiting. However, these symptoms may be an indirect result of the infection, either through the medication that you were treated with, or potentially the decreased amounts of fluid that you were able to take in as a result of the illness. Antibiotics may cause an associated diarrhea but can more rarely cause constipation as well. You should discuss your symptoms with your primary care doctor, who may choose to prescribe you some commonly used medicines such as stool softeners or bulk fiber to help relieve your constipation.

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