Having a stimulant effect similar to caffeine, Adderall can induce a case of the jitters or prompt symptoms of anxiety. In turn, this may activate what’s known as the gut-brain axis, in which emotional and cognitive functioning influence our gastrointestinal activity and vice versa, according to 2015 research published in Annals of Gastroenterology. For this reason, taking Adderall may boost digestive activity in addition to brain activity.
Amphetamines are the chemical component of Adderall that gives it its stimulating effects. Healthline explains that when it is initially released into the bloodstream, this can send the body into fight-or-flight mode, which is activated by our sympathetic nervous system. This stress reaction serves to heighten our awareness and responsiveness to a potential threat by boosting blood flow to our muscles, enhancing our mental activity, and more (per StatPearls). The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, is responsible for our body’s rest-and-digest state, which enhances gastrointestinal functioning. Therefore, once the stimulating effects of Adderall have passed, we may feel the urge to poop as our body returns to this resting state.
Finally, if you’re taking Adderall around the same time that you’re eating other bowel movement-inducing foods, this can further increase the likelihood of going number two. Reach out to your physician if you experience gastrointestinal issues that you suspect may be related to your medication.