Constipation is a common digestive issue that most of us suffer at some point in our lives. It’s an uncomfortable business, often accompanied with abdominal pain.
You might find that you have a fever as well, despite it not being a typical symptom of constipation. So what is really happening? This article will explore the connection between fever and constipation.
Constipation is a condition during which passing stools becomes more difficult and less frequent than it should be.
You may feel unable to completely empty your bowel, and stools may appear dry, hard and lumpy as well as larger or smaller than usual.
You could also have stomach aches and cramps, as well as feeling bloated and you might not feel like eating.
Bowel habits vary between people, with some adults going to the bathroom more than once a day and others only going every three days. Anything less than what is normal for you could implicate constipation.
Constipation can be brought on by a lack of fibre, a change in routine, ignoring the urge to pass stools, not drinking enough water, anxiety/depression or as a medication side effect.
|When to get treatment|
| Constipation usually passes on its own, but in some cases it can become serious. Consult a healthcare professional if you experience the following symptoms:|
Severe abdominal pain. Constipation is generally painful and uncomfortable, but it is possible to reach pain levels that match giving birth. This kind of pain is an emergency.
Blood in your stool is a red flag that could indicate a more serious condition.
Inability to pass gas. This might mean that there is an obstruction in your bowel.
If you’ve had no bowel movements for a week or longer, it’s best to consult a professional. It might not be an emergency yet, but at this point you should look into ways to prevent it from becoming one.point,
You have a fever when your body temperature rises higher than what is considered normal – that is around 37 degrees Celsius. Usually it is a sign that your body is fighting off an infection.
Your body temperature is controlled by the hypothalamus, located in the brain. When it picks up the presence of an infection, illness or another cause, it raises your body temperature.
A warmer environment makes it harder for a virus or bacteria to survive. When you have a fever, the immune system also springs into action by producing more white blood cells to fight the threat.
A fever can be brought on by viral and bacterial infections, heat exhaustion, certain inflammatory conditions, cancer, some medications and some immunisations.
|Fever – when to get urgent treatment|
Fever itself is not harmful, but it could be a sign that something else is going on. See your GP is you are also experiencing the following symptoms:
SeizureLoss of consciousnessConfusionStiff neckTrouble breathingSevere pain anywhere in the bodySwelling or inflammation anywhere on the body
What is the link between constipation and fever?
Some research shows that the most likely cause of constipation is an infection with a bacterial agent that enters through the mouth and then starts to coexist with normal human bowel flora.
Its presence in the bowel leads to partial paralysis of the bowel, which manifests as constipation. It has been proposed that this bacterial agent produces a neurotoxin.
Presence of this neurotoxin alerts your body to raise its temperature. In this instance, constipation was caused by a bacterial infection which is associated with fever.
Simply put, constipation is not causing the fever, but could be associated with it, as is often the case.
If you are experiencing constipation and fever simultaneously, the fever is most likely caused by a bacterial infection and not by the constipation.
Fever along with constipation can also be indicative of other underlying medical conditions:
Sometimes small, bulging pouches called diverticula form along the colon. They don’t necessarily cause symptoms, but sometimes bacteria gets trapped inside these pouches, causing infection and inflammation.
Along with fever, you could experience a severe or sudden pain on the left side of your abdomen, as well as nausea and vomiting. Pain can start off mild and worsen with time.
Diverticulitis is treated with a course of antibiotics, so best to visit your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
Your appendix is a pouch on the purpose that serves no known purpose. Should it become inflamed, you feel pain near your belly button which then moves to your right side.
Further symptoms of appendicitis include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite and chills.
Another theory about constipation and fever is that the complications of constipation could lead to fever. Still the fever doesn’t come from the constipation itself, but it could occur when the following happens:
- If you develop faecal impaction. This is a solid, immobile bulk of faeces that can develop in the rectum due to a lack of sufficient bowel movements.
- If you have swollen anal veins (haemorrhoids), torn skin in the anus (anal fissure) or rectal prolapse (intestines protruding from the anus).
It is rare, but the above conditions can lead to you having a fever.
Fever is very unlikely to be caused by constipation alone, but it is definitely possible to have constipation and fever at the same time.
This is worth looking into if it happens, you might just pick up a serious condition in time to get the appropriate treatment.