does constipation lead to diarrhea?

j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Shyman asks:

I had a backed-up problem recently. Then I ate tuna casserole, and an hour after eating, I sat and crap flew out of my backside fast-paced like. My question being: is constipation then diarrhea -- without laxatives -- normal? Or did the food I ate evacuate my bowels?

Dear Shyman,

While it's tempting to blame the tuna casserole, it probably was not the immediate culprit. It usually takes food at least several hours to a day to make the journey to freedom.

There are lots of things that could be going on. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can sometimes cause symptoms like alternating diarrhea and constipation. Could be something bad you ate during the day prior to the diarrhea.

If this happens infrequently, I'd put it down to one of those poop mysteries that will likely never be solved. If it seems to happen on a regular basis, go to the doctor and let him figure it out.

But don't be so quick to blame tuna. I love tuna. My tuna casserole would NEVER give you the runs.

Good luck!

Please be advised that I am only a Poonurse. I am NOT a medical doctor. Any advice I give should be taken moderate skepticism. Please consult a REAL medical doctor if you feel you have a serious medical condition.

-- Poonurse

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.

Got a question for her?

85 Comments on "does constipation lead to diarrhea?"

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I have had diarrhea after constipation. Usually this occurs when I have been constipated and my period starts. For some reason this liquifies all the poo behind my butt plug, so when I finally dislodge it there is an explosion of brownie soup.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

SomeChickNamedJen's picture

Oy, periods are satan for shitting, or when your cramps are bad anyway. That makes it hell to push.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I know what you mean, Somechick. I hate it when I cramp up so bad that I CAN'T shit as well as when I get soft serve.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Shyman's picture

Please tell me that women are the only ones responding to this. First off, I'm a MAN. SHYMAN IS A MAN, I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I'M HIM.

freakazoid's picture

Shyman. Calm down. Are you having some issues with your sexuality or something?

shyman's picture


The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Hey, shyman. Periods!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points

I have had diarrhea after constipation many times usually after:

A. I consume too much Magnesium.

B. The poop accumulates so much, that it liquifies (this I have never figured out).

C. I eat an over amount of raw vegetables. (especially raw broccoli).

D. Sometimes my body doen't respond to laxatives until I have a few days worth in my system, then, whammo.

E. Any combination of the above.

Other things that can cause this to happen are IBS-A. If I were you, I would see a doctor if this continues.
Jammin' lo'flo's since 1977.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points

So Shyman, after nearly two years and two months, a man has finally answered your question.
Jammin' lo'flo's since 1977.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

DixieDonna's picture

I believe I have a weird case of IBS....I usually dont potty for 6 or 7 days(sometimes longer)....then all of the sudden I start having violent cramps in my stomach and start going so bad, that I have to call in from work. This happens about 1 time a month, sometimes 2. I always get really bad indegestion before I start going poop. Sometimes I wont poop for 11 days,I get feverish, and I have to take zelnorm, and that makes me poop for 2 days...and it makes me so me! Its like I cant get on tract.....

AssBlaster2000's picture
PoopReport of the Year Awardj 1000+ points

Hehe . . . can't get on "tract."

DD, are you taking any medications?

A few years ago, my husband was on a buttload of medications, and he would only poop once a week. We called it "Ass Day." It was usually Saturday or Sunday, which was good because he couldn't have gone to work in the condition he was usually in on Ass Day. Basically, he'd get really bad intestinal cramps and crap all day long. I recall he was also having gallbladder problems at that time too. His doctor gave him Miralax, but he never bothered with it. It went away when he stopped taking the meds, and so too did the gallbladder issues.

DoodooGranddaughter's picture

My grandma is having horrid cramping, painful lower stomache, so we called MD, were told to get dulcolax (biscolyt (sp?)-based) suppositories and before I reurned with them, she is sqirting red hot flaming painful runny doodoo with little pea size poop and I dont know what do do to stop the endless poop now, and she still feels constipated! And now she feels {and it only looks red to me-not like my kids' bad diaper rashes...}like it is raw and she wont stay put...
Her pain level is going down at the moment...
Where can I find advice online at this late hour?

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points

if you're worried, call an after hours clinic. If they're closed and you think she needs immediate medical attention take her to the ER.

YoungBee91's picture

All Ya'll,
Got A Question: Can Constipation Cause Nausea Like It Can Cause Diarrhea?

werewolf pooping on trees's picture
l 100+ points

Yes, it definitely can cause nausea. It's rather common for people who are full of crap to have it start coming out of their mouths; just look at politicians for indisputable proof.

...and they all lived crappily ever after!

...and they all lived crappily ever after!

Anonymous Coward's picture

Last Sunday night I had lots of mush, so bad that I stayed home Tuesday with more mush, then I got constipated, then more mush. It's been a week, no meds, no change in diet or excercise... some mild to tearful pain, most pain is during the mush phase... is this norm? Should I expect this to work it's way out? Should I go to my doctor (I hate doctors)?

salad lover's picture

All of a sudden , I cant eat raw vegetables without getting stomach cramps and diarrhea. I can no longer eat salad which I love. What might be causing this?

Hamster's picture
k 500+ points

I've had a lifetime of varying degrees of constipation - lasting over a week sometimes when I was younger. Sure, it can be uncomfortable sometimes, but I think I'm lucky. I've never had diarrhoea and haven't vomited for about twenty years - so for me at least, there is no link at all.

Fudgepump's picture
l 100+ points

I've heard about one case of constipation masquerading as diarrhea from a friend of mine. His elderly mother was taking Immodium for diarrhea, and it didn't seem to be helping. When the diarrhea didn't subside, she took more Immodium, etc. Finally, after a couple of weeks, my friend got his mother to a doctor. What they found was an impaction in the bowel. The solid mass was only allowing liquid material to reach the exit, while the plug itself remained intact and unmovable.

arealpainintheass's picture

I am a 32 year old female and I have issues. Since I was a teen I had diarreha everyday sometime violent painful episodes (near miss embarrasing episodes)I thought it was IBS but no matter what I did it never got under control and I just learned to deal with it. A year or so ago it all of a sudden change to constipation all the time with the occasional constipation followed immediately by diarreha. I thought this was better becuase I didn't run the chance of total humiliation and I could actually leave the house on a regular basis. Also with this came indegestion (heartburn & nausea)as well as a chronic dull ache interally on my upper right side under my ribs. This ache gets worse at times and I cannot sleep on my left side. The ache is on my right but I can't sleep on my left??? I always know an hour or so before I have to go due to the extreme pain. I swear I can feel it moving through my intestines with razor blades attached. Recently, I have noticed small amounts of blood tinged mucus. I have made an appointment with my doctor but I am worried this has developed into something way more serious and possibly multiple conditions encompassing my gallbladder. Any ideas?

Hamster's picture
k 500+ points

Above - you've done the right thing - see what Doc says. My constipation pain is always on the right, I get the sharp pain too, and have had the blood. Always do if I force or strain. When I had it checked out it was nothing - hopefully the same for you!!!

Anonymous Coward's picture

I'm fifteen years old and it is now 03:30am here. I woke up an hour ago and found myself constipated and experiencing a lot of pain in my left side. I managed to go toilet, only producing two, tiny stools and I felt awful of the thought that I couldn't get rid of what was inside of me. I have eaten a apple today.. but was treated to a little chocolate and chips later on.

I've read lots about IBS and my heart goes out to them. Some stories made me cry. I'm the worst person for getting my knickers in a twist and I feel awful. I'm at my Dad's, typing this now, trying to have a nice time.

I'm wondering if I should go home and stuff my face with apples. I just hope this isn't serious. I want to sleep!

shit disturber's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

alot of these comments sound simaler to what's going on with me. ever since i was a little kid i've had problems with constipation. only within the past year have i started having diarrhea. i almost always poop small amounts of very hard stool, and i only go maybe once or twice a week. when i get seriously stoped up it's BAD! i've been to the doctor before and had x rays of my belly, and they showed me that i was literaly "full of shit". the only thing that helps me with that are enemas. when i finaly do go it's like a huge plug popping out!(im talking almost tennis ball sized) but now i will get totaly random attacks of diarrhea with horrible cramps. but in not sure why.

ms. pooper's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

be safe and blame the tuna get bad poops if I dunk Oreo cookies in strong coffee.

toilet paper

Inspector Pu P. Stayne's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Shit disturber- you may need to change your diet. You may also want to increase your fluid intake along with something like Benefiber. Believe it or not, more fiber intake can eliminate diarrhea by causing the stool to "bulk up" and plenty of fluid intake will help keep things moving through.Good luck._______
Sam Walton has recently requested patrons not shit at Wal-Mart, they are over-stocked!

Urgently Alarmed's picture

Hello there... It's 3:30am in my area and I'm experiencing difficulty defecating and suffering a slight (and occasionally increased) aches in my lower left side... I need your help...

I'm a twenty year old guy who recovered 2 days ago from a bout of fever accompanied with diarrhea and green stool.

A few hours ago, more or less 6-7 hours, I had a dinner with my friends after recovering from my fever and diarrhea. (Against my common sense and better judgement,) we had some cold meatloaf, rice, home-made mashed potatoes, and two glasses of very dilute lime martinis (the glass tips laced with sugar). About 3-4 hours later, I started feeling this ache in the lower left portion of my torso, and that it was hard for me to poop, which I have done so for more than 5 times with only little poop coming out each time.

On the 5th time, I decided to investigate my poop more closely, and i put on a rubber glove and felt through my loose poop in the toilet bowl. It sank quickly to the bottom of the bowl, but i was able to feel some rather small chunks that were rather resistant to pressure (they were not hard as rocks, but required steady and enough pressure to squeeze and flatten.) Those particular chunks i suspect were the remnants of the cold meatloaf, apparently not entirely digested, since it still had the same color of the meatloaf...

I'm really, really worried because i don't want to suffer another bout of constipation and make a fuss for my family about it, especially on christmas day, i've been drinking water from time to time since the ache.

Would walking around a bit loosen the poop still in me, and does drinking water at this point help?

Please reply ASAP...

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

There are some prescription medicines for IBS. I had IBS about 20 years ago for a couple of years at least, and I would get frequent strong diarrhea attacks, especially during a class I taught at night, regardless of what I ate or avoided. I was able to stave off the urge until break time every time but once, when I had to excuse myself (and thus start the break) about half an hour early. Often I could stave it off till class was over (10 p.m.) and then go in and explode. I know that some of my male students heard my loud and liquid poops as they used the same restroom at break. One night, after work, I got another powerful urge. I decided to test my projection, which I knew was considerable. There was a place off the side of the property that was occasionally used by tramps, so a little more poop there would not be much noticed. I held my explosion in with some difficulty; then I found a landmark at the edge of the area, took off my pants and underpants [deserted place, dark night], thrust out my bottom, and pushed. The stream of poop shot straight back with a loud wet-farty sound for a couple of seconds. When I was sure I was done, I wiped as well as I could out there, laid down the paper, put my clothes back on, and went inside to put the used paper in the toilet and finish wiping. The next day I arrived early to work, went to the spot, and saw my brown streak. As best I could walk it off, it went 15 feet. Has anyone else tried this?
About that time I did start seeing my doctor about the IBS. The medicine he gave me controlled it fairly well, and I was able gradually to lessen its use, and the IBS eventually disappeared. Good luck to all of you who suffer with it--I know it's often painful and frustrating.

Hamster's picture
k 500+ points

Urgently Alarmed - yes! Water, fibre, pure orange, exercise. They all help!!

First-timer's picture

Heh heh. So I'm only 20, and I had my first blockup! Wheeee! It finally came out this morning after a bath and some prune juice that my dad pumped into me. So I'm totally unblocked. This all happened around 11am. Ever since then, I've had a slight case of the runs as well as body(back, abdominal region, and legs) aches (from the straining this morning..?). I feel like crap (no pun intended) Anyone else have this problem?

Anonymous Coward's picture

You people are disgusting, talking about your bodily functions this way. What would Miss Manners think? If you must talk about your digestive problems in public, stick to purely medical terms.

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

And you, sir, are a myalgia in gluteus maximus.


I am immortal, u r not! ha ha ha's picture

Yeah lol. No wonder they ain't famous. lol. Cos over-inflated ego's can only b pitied. @ Anonymous Coward. Well i've tried nearly all bowel medication, and 2 me they all just work the same way as each other. Except Picolax, which works (very strongly) within 3 hours of drinkin it. The only thing that helps me is eatin a bowl of 'Shreddie's' when i get diahorrea! The stool is painless if u stick 2 eatin a bowl of Shreddie's bout once a day :)

Anonymous Coward's picture

im 17 year old male ive just tryed to go dump and oh my god i cannot go it hurts soo much when i try i nearly passed out because of the pain im really dreading having to try n get it out anyone got any ideas for how i can make it easier

Anonymous Coward's picture

Does having one case of diarrhea mean it will happen again? I just had a moderate case about 1.5 hours ago after 3 days of constipation

Jwiggles's picture

Well i am not sure how to diagnose my problem, I spend a lot of time in the bathroom sitting on the toilet typing on my laptop waiting to poop and sometimes i have to wait ages to pass stool but when it comes in comes in spurts, when i was younger i used to hold my poop in for ages like at school camp etc until i had a comfortable place to go, nowadays i dont even get the urge to go unless i sit on the toilet and wait for it to come. do i have a problem. and if so what is it.

skinny n liquid shitty's picture

when i was maybe 6-17yrs old i used to get stomach aches, more like cramps. i could feel my intestines constricting and it hurt bad! would be followed by a long liquidy sound and the pain settling down. diareah was always going along with this. anytime i ate somewhere other then my house. and id get it at my house at times also. so many times a month this would happen, i figured out that milk caused stomach aches so i stopped drinking it, but id still get them. iv heard this is a symptom of celiac.. or is it? i dont get these pains very oftin now, im 24. when i do i throwup now i get so dizzy from the constricting. since i was really young iv been very underweight also, i eat normal amounts of food. more protein then most of my friends, but i dont gain anything its like my body isnt able to absorb enough nutrience out of the food i eat.
i know ur going to just tell me i should talk to my doctor, but i have. they sent me for thyroid, bloodcell, and other blood tests to check for mineral levels. all normal, doctor left it at that. im not so sure thats it though but it seems like no one wants to take it on , maybe if i had a few ideas on what it could be they would be more modivated to investigate. help me out?

TooSweet's picture

I am a type 1 Diabetic who suffers from IBS. Once or twice a month I'll have bad abdominal cramps, followed by a run to the bathroom....where I first am able to make a formed BM, then comes the explosion. During this time, I break out into a sweat all over my body (literally dripping sweat from my face), and feel extremely nauseous to the point where I'm on the toilet holding a trashcan to throw up in. Then...after everything passes...I'm fine! Exhausted, but fine! I've had a colonoscopy, CT-scan, Endoscopy, blood test for Celiac, and....nothing. IBS. Three little letters that haunt me. What to do....

Catwoman's picture

To skinny n liquid shitty,

I would go back to the doctor and ask about being tested for Crohns Disease, an autoimmune disorder that effects the stomach, intestines, etc. Although not super common, I used to date someone who was diagnosed with that and he had similar symptoms to what you are describing. He also was very skinny and could never put on weight. He would get pain like you wouldn't believe in his intestinal area and would get the runs awful here and there.

Certainly not trying to concern you, just giving you some information to ask your doctor about, its better to get tested so you know, so that you either have your correct diagnosis or can rule another thing out. I myself have a different autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, which took multiple doctors and special blood tests to get my final diagnosis. All the while I suffered waiting for an answer to my problems until that final diagnosis, the less time it takes to get an answer, the quicker you can start getting treatment.

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points

I second Catwoman's suggestion.
If what your doctor told you doesn't sound right, get a second opinion. Sometimes things don't show up on blood panels the first time around. Sometimes doctors make mistakes and don't order the right tests (shock!!). Go to a specialist and get yer butt checked out again.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

The best thing about seeing the doctor for some of these conditions is that your condition, once diagnosed, is very likely treatable. IBS, Crohn's, etc. have been around a long time, and treatments exist--even cures in some cases.

ChinaPoo's picture

Oh man, for as long as I can remember I've been constipated, but livable. Then last year I worked at Quizno's and it all came to a head. I thought I was going to die, but my doctor set me straight...

Now I am 22 in China, and experiencing constipation and diarrhea at the same time. I strain and strain, then 'whoosh' and 5 seconds of bliss. Then I get lower stomach (intestinal?) cramps and the feeling of constipation all over again. I'm hoping/dreading its something I ate and that this will be better by tomorrow...

Rhymes with Diarrhea's picture

How long does a severe IBS attack last? I haven't been able to work or leave my house for the last week and a half. I'm taking Immodium, Dicyclomine, every probiotic product on the market. It has stopped the diarrhea and I have regular bowel movements, but I still have severe debilitating cramps. I feel like I am having contractions that are only a few minutes apart. I can't go on living like this. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat, I always feel this way. Not eating is the only way to find relief.
I am still undergoing tests and have yet to be diagnosed with IBS or anything else. From what I have read on the web, IBS is my best guess. Thoughts? Suggestions? Help!

constipated diarrhea's picture

I came upon this looking up the spelling of constipated. I just spent an hour on the toilet trying to get my constipated diarrhea out. Yep. Somehow i managed that...

Screw you gluten's picture

Hey Skinny and Liquid Shitty. I had the same thing for SOOOOO long and then I found out that I have Celiac disease. You don't need to go to the doctor to figure it out. Eat gluten free for a couple weeks and then try eating it again and see what happens. Research Celiac disease first so that you know exactly how to eat gluten free so you can make sure you are doing it right.

sickstrawverry's picture

can somebody PLEASE help me out?
the problem is, on Saturday (January 3rd), i woke up to a weird diarrhea that only lasted for less than an hour.
After this, I'd become constipated. The following Monday I realized I might have an issue to I went out and bought some laxative (which I've never had to do in my life..) and took the provided amount and thought I was done with it.
Tuesday morning, Mr. Bowel Movement came. Great, I thought. No.
I didn't go again that day. I didn't go again on Wednesday, or Thursday. On Thursday, I decided to take another two laxative pills to clear myself out because I was starting to feel really sick when I moved my body in anyway (probably because of being so clogged), and I finally went Friday morning.
After that, I decided I didn't want to rely on pills to make me go because they made me feel a little sicker than I'd already felt... so I decided to run out and buy myself some prune juice.
It worked the first day (Saturday), so I was really happy and relieved.
Constipation continued onto Sunday, so before I fell asleep on Sunday, I drank a cup of prune juice (and accidently fell asleep)
I woke up on Monday (this morning) with a sore stomach as if I had to go only to find I was still constipated. I drank another cup of prune juice and waited a few hours. Nothing. THEN I decided to take a couple fiber wafers (2 grams of fiber each and I took 4...) Nothing, at first.
Then about an hour later, diarrhea! And THIS diarrhea is exceptionally horrible because it's watery and it's rather weird. It's weird because my stomach feels like I have to run and use the bathroom immediately, but when I sit down, It takes 10 minutes or so to even get the water stuff to come out. And when it DOES come out, it's violent.

I reallllllllly don't want to go to the doctor because it's embarrassing..
but here I go again.. have to run back to the bathroom to wait another 10 minutes to have my ass painfully violated. :[[[[[[[[[

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Let me get this straight...You are about the 45,679th person with seems to be a serious medical issue, who would rather come to a website about poop, and the humor involved in it, and get advise from a bunch of laypersons with no medical training, than go to a doctor because you are too embarrassed? I think your real issue is you are too stupid.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

luvkimchee's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

BP, I think sickstrawverry just needs affirmation that something is wrong enough to consult an expert. Maybe she grew up, like me, in a family in which one had to be very sick to call a doctor.

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Grrrr...I hate it when newcomers become the voice of reason....There are so many comments that I(we) have to read and approve, just like the one above, where people seem to have serious issues, but are too embarrassed to go to a doctor. Not afraid...embarrassed....think about that for a second. "I'm so embarrassed that I might have something seriously wrong with me" compared to "I am so afraid there might me something seriously wrong with me". Which one do you think deserves compassion? Thats not to say that you aren't right, Kimchee, I need to back down a little. To "sickstrawverry", my apologies, but I wouldn't mess around here, go see a doctor.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

luvkimchee's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Awww, you're a good one, BP! Thanks a lot to you and everyone that is using their time in order to keep this fun site going!

boweltroubles's picture

im having problems with my bowel movements. it started about a year and a half ago. i was still in high school and i was always constipated. now that i am in college my problem is getting worse. i get constipated for about a week..i feel really bloated and gassy and i have abdominal pains. after a week it turns to diarrhea and i have to go to the bathroom almost every's like a cycle.
i'm always feeling unfomfortable during class because i always feel like i have to go and my stomach is always making wierd's really embarrasing because it's very loud during class..i always miss class and i have low grades because i am afraid to go to school. i'm even thinking about not going to school next semester if i still have this problem.
i went to the doctor about 4 months ago and he told me that i had a bug so he gave me antibiotics but i still had the same problem and about 2 months ago i was prescribed a stronger antibiotic but i still have the same problem.
i have also been experienceng pain in the rectum and rectal bleeding. when i have a bowel movement, even when i have diarrhea.. it is very little and thin and i hve to stop because it is painful and i start to bleed but then my stomach feels very bloated and gassy. i always feel like i hav to go but nothing will come out.
my mom is very worried because when i was 2 years old a had a colon polyp and she said that i am showing the same symptoms and the doctor said that i could get a nother polyp when im older.
i am really scared and i hope its not a polyp. my mom keeps telling me to go to the doctor but i am so tired of taking antibiotics. i am so confused!! is it a bug that just won't go away?? or is it a polyp?? please help me!!!!

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