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Health

Why does it hurt to Poop?

Pooping naturally feels good and satisfying. Most of the time, the daily call for #2 instantly makes one feel lighter, relieved and happier, and less bloated. But sometimes, the bathroom trip doesn’t feel good as it actually hurts while pooping.

According to Rabia De Latour, M.D., gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Health, this is quite a common complaint. Often times, people feel embarrassed to speak about these conditions, and so they go untreated and unnoticed. But the condition is not uncommon at all.

Here is why does it hurt to poop, which might become a dreadful experience.

Hemorrhoids

A hemorrhoid is essentially a vein inside the rectum and becomes dilated. There are two kinds of hemorrhoids: internal and external.

While there can be many reasons for both internal and external to happen, the most commonly occurring factors are pregnancy and weight gain, both of which result in increased pressure and stress above the vein. As pressure develops in that area, the thinly walled veins surrounding the rectum dilate.

Internal hemorrhoids are usually not painful, although they may bleed. But external hemorrhoids can be very itchy and painful.

The way of preventing hemorrhoids is by maintaining a good weight, avoiding weight gain, and adding fiber in the diet. But hemorrhoids usually aren’t serious, and ointments are able for treating the symptoms of external hemorrhoids.

Fissures

A fissure is a tear in the skin around the anus and it is quite painful. These anal fissures can occur from local trauma, passing hard bowels, having anal sex, vaginal birth, incorrectly administered enema. The best way to prevent fissures is by consuming plentiful fiber in order to promote regular and easy bowel movements.

Constipation

Constipation is usually caused by dietary factors such as not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water while staying dehydrated.

When dehydrated, the colon starts to absorb all the water from the stool it’s producing. As a result, have hard and painful poop is formed. And it’s harder to pass it through the anal canal. This can cause strain on the muscles in the pelvic area, leading to pain. The solution is fiber again.

Proctitis

Proctitis is a scientific term for an inflamed rectum. It can be caused by inflammatory bowel diseases, STDs or enema that didn’t go well.

The rectum is the part of the colon before the anus, and when it gets inflamed, it becomes hard and painful for stool to pass. The treatment depends on the cause, so it’s best to see a doctor to make a proper diagnosis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

People who suffer from ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or irritable bowel disorder probably experience diarrhea a lot. And with a constant flow through the anal canal, it is likely to cause irritation and pain. A gastroenterologist may suggest giving an exam to test for pus and abscess, which can be quite painful.

Excessive Pooping

Many times during diarrhea, one has lots of bowel movements occurring in a short span, and the anal area gets wiped and cleaned, which then becomes sensitive and irritated. In such cases, it is best to avoid using creams and instead use water and keep the area clean. Excessive wiping will only agitate irritation further.

Endometriosis

If women experience very painful bowel movements during their menstrual cycle, it may be a symptom indicating endometriosis. In this case, see a gynecologist. Although it is uncommon, but it can happen.

Anal Cancer or Rectal Cancer

Firstly, the chances are rare. So there should be no reasons assume that right away in case of painful poop. But there has been a recent rise in the US of younger people in their 30s getting diagnosed with rectal cancer. This is a concerning situation.

So always watch out for any symptoms that can lead to painful poop such as visible weight loss, which might be a sign of a greater problem.

Tom Brendon

Tom Brendon has completed his nutrition undergrad in the UK and received his Master's degree from Canada in health education and specializes in human health and pediatrics. He began his career as a writer for Nutritionline in 2014 and Authority Health in 2016. He has considerable research experience and currently writes nutrition and health articles for general readership. He enjoys outdoor activities, snowboarding and spending quality time with family and friends.

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