Having a bowel movement is something that you do not give much attention to unless there is some pain associated with the act. The pain before your bowel movement can sometimes be so severe that many people become terrified on the thought of using the bathroom. While it is quite normal to experience some discomfort before you have a bowel movement, you certainly need to see your doctor when the pain is unbearable. So many things can contribute to this painful feeling.
Is It Normal?
Pain before bowel movement is not normal. In fact, you should not experience pain before, during, or after a bowel movement. You have to understand that an intense sensation of urgency is not the same as pain. You should see your doctor if you experience pain with bowel movements, as it might indicate some underlying disease, disorder, or injury. Sometimes, you experience pain but it usually goes away without any medical intervention. If it persists, it could lead to serious complications if left untreated.
It is important to seek medical attention if you have pain along with some other symptoms. For instance:
- You have constipation or diarrhea.
- You find blood or mucus in the feces.
- You experience abdominal cramps.
- You have excessive flatulence occurring before or during bowel movements.
What Causes Pain before Bowel Movement?
If you experience a painful sensation before or with bowel movement, you should go to your doctor for further evaluation. However, a number of factors may contribute to this painful sensation. Here are some possible causes:
- Your pain could be due to infections of the bowel. The most common infection is viral gastroenteritis, which can cause nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain with vomiting. It could be the result of protozoal or bacterial infections. These infections are usually self-limiting, which means they go away within a week or so. You need medical attention if the symptoms persist.
- You could also develop an infection resulting from food poisoning. You develop it when you eat something contaminated with toxins or pathogens. This could cause pain in the bowels along with diarrhea. The condition usually gets better in a few days without any need of medical help.
- You may also experience pain if you have intestinal worm infestation. It is a less common cause of bowel pain, but it can certainly be a possible cause in your case. You do not always have symptoms but sometimes you may experience abdominal cramps, constant hunger, and diarrhea in some cases. Keep in mind that sexually transmitted diseases can also lead to infections of the bowel.
You will experience pain if you have sustained an injury to the bowels. People undergoing radiation therapy for cancer may end up sustaining some damage to the lining of the intestines. Similarly, some toxins and drugs can trigger inflammatory reactions in the body and damage your intestinal lining. Physical trauma can also cause an injury to the bowels and result in pain before bowel movement.
3. Immune System Disorders
It is also possible to experience painful bowel movements because of a malfunctioning immune system. It could happen if you have inflammatory bowel disease that causes sores and ulcers to develop in the intestinal lining. It is important to understand that IBD could be of two different types, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Not getting it treated in a timely manner may result in colon cancer.
4. Circulatory Problems
Poor blood flow to the intestine could also lead to painful bowels. A restricted blood supply to a tissue is medically termed as ischemia, and it can affect any part of the intestine. It is likely to happen when a specific portion of your bowel gets trapped in a hernia. Your pain could also be due to hemorrhoids or piles, which affect the rectum. You experience pain because of swollen blood vessels that may rupture at times. There will be blood in the feces with hemorrhoids.
5. Lactose Intolerance
You may have pain before bowel movement when you have a condition called lactose intolerance. When you have this condition, you will experience pain in your intestines soon after consuming milk. It happens because your body cannot digest a certain type of sugar found in milk and milk products.
6. Congenital Disorders
A congenital disorder such as short bowel syndrome might as well be the underlying cause of pain while having bowel movements. You have this condition when certain segments of small intestine are missing. Due to this shortened length, your body will not be able to digest food properly. This in turn can lead to pain associated with problems in gastrointestinal tract motility.
People suffering from constipation often experience pain before they have a bowel movement. It is never easy to pass hard, dry stools, and the strain can lead to other complications, such as fissures and hemorrhoids. You can deal with this situation by increasing your intake of water and fiber. Magnesium supplements may also help in this case.
8. Excessive Gas
Gas in the colon or flatulence may also be an underlying cause of pain before bowel movements. It could be due to certain foods, but sometimes a protozoal infection is the reason behind flatulence.
9. Laxatives and Drugs
Many people start taking laxatives to deal with constipation, but they do not understand that the overuse of these laxatives and drugs can result in intestinal contractions, which in turn will cause painful bowels. If you experience any painful sensation before having a bowel movement and you are already taking some drugs to deal with constipation, be sure to consult your doctor and share all your medications with them. They will evaluate everything and prescribe something better.