Can Constipation Cause Fever? Causes and Treatment

Can constipation cause a fever
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Key Takeaways

    • The Constipation-Fever Link: Explore the surprising connection between constipation and fever, examining scientific evidence and uncovering how constipation can lead to an elevated body temperature.

    • Understanding Mechanisms: Unveil the physiological processes and interplay between the gut, inflammation, bacterial imbalance, and fever caused by constipation.

    • Identifying Symptoms and Red Flags: Recognize common signs of constipation and fever and understand when to seek medical attention for timely intervention.

    • Effective Treatment Approaches: Discover evidence-based strategies, including natural remedies, dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and medical interventions to address the root causes of constipation and fever.

    • Importance of Professional Advice: Emphasize the role of medical professionals, stressing the need for proper diagnosis, personalized guidance, and tailored treatment plans to manage constipation and fever effectively.

 

Overview

Can constipation cause a fever and chills? A curious connection between both. While the connection may not seem evident initially, the relationship between these seemingly unrelated conditions is more complex than meets the eye. No, constipation does not cause fever, yet they can co-occur. Join us on this exploratory journey as we clear up the mysteries behind this connection and uncover effective ways to address constipation and fever.

This blog Unravels the link between constipation with fever and discovers effective treatments. 

Can Constipation Cause a Fever?

Can constipation cause fever in adults?  A query that confuses many. The answer to this mystery is “No”; the one doesn’t lead to the other. The relation is usually due to a common cause like, impaction, obstruction, Inflammation or bacterial or viral infection, which simultaneously leads to constipation and fever. Constipation does not induce a temperature on its own. The body’s immune system typically produces a fever in response to an infection or inflammation.

Constipation and Fever Cause in Children.

It’s essential to consult a pediatrician if you notice constipation and fever in your toddler, especially if the symptoms are persistent, severe, or accompanied by other concerning signs. The doctor can evaluate your child’s condition, perform necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment. Other justifications for bringing your constipated kid to the doctor are:

  • There is blood in their poop.
  • They have been constipated for more than two weeks
  • They are not eating
  • They have a bloated belly, painful bowel movements, and rectal prolapse (in which some of the intestines protrude from the anus).

Causes of constipation in children

When poop moves through the digestive tract too slowly, it can become complex and dry. This can result in constipation.

Contributors to constipation in your child may include:

Gastrointestinal Infection

Viral or bacterial infections affecting the gastrointestinal tract can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. In some cases, these infections can also lead to temporary constipation.

Dehydration

If a child is not drinking enough fluids, it can lead to dehydration, which can contribute to constipation. Dehydration may also cause fever as the body fights the infection or illness.

Intestinal Blockage

In rare cases, a physical blockage in the intestines, such as intestinal obstruction or Hirschsprung’s disease, can cause constipation and lead to a fever. These conditions often require medical intervention.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can also affect children and cause symptoms including constipation, abdominal pain, and fever.

Low-grade Fever and Constipation in Your Child can be Worrisome. Consult Now!

In What Conditions Constipation and Fever May Occur Simultaneously?

There are some conditions in which constipation and fever occur simultaneously mentioned below.

Causes of fever with Constipation in adults

Fever and constipation aren’t connected. Thus, if both are present, there must be an underlying explanation for both. Dr. Bedford states, “Fever is a sign of some inflammatory process that’s going on.” Therefore, you should start trying to figure out what is happening.

Dehydration, a cause of constipation and fever:

Can constipation cause fever and headache? Inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause both constipation and a low-grade fever. Dehydration is also a known cause of headaches, dizziness, and muscle weakness. It’s important to stay properly hydrated to maintain healthy bowel function.

Fecal Impaction as the Cause of Fever and Constipation

In rare instances, extreme constipation can result in issues like fecal impaction, which happens when feces gets lodged in the colon and cannot be passed. Fecal impaction can cause discomfort and suffering in the abdomen. In rare instances, it may also result in a condition known as “complicated constipation” or “obstructed defecation,” characterized by an intestines obstruction. In such circumstances, the blockage could result in fever if infected.

Gastrointestinal Infections 

Certain bacterial or viral infections in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, and fever. Examples include gastroenteritis (stomach flu) or bacterial infections like Salmonella or E. coli.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) 

Conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which are types of inflammatory bowel disease, can cause chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. In addition to constipation, these conditions may result in fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms.

Intestinal Obstruction

Another query that might cross your mind is, “Can not pooping cause fever?”.  A complete or partial intestine blockage can cause constipation, abdominal pain, and potentially fever if an infection occurs.

Medications and Side Effects

Certain drugs, including some painkillers, antacids containing aluminum or calcium, and some antidepressants, can make you constipated. Fever can occasionally result from an allergic reaction to a drug.

Diverticulitis leads to constipation and fever.

It is an inflammation or infection of the diverticula, small pouches that can develop in the colon. Bacteria trapped in these pouches can lead to diverticulitis. Infection and inflammation result in symptoms such as fever, severe or sudden left-sided abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Appendicitis, Constipation and fever

It is the swelling of the colon’s connection to the tiny pouch known as the appendix. Appendicitis symptoms include right-sided pain that begins close to the belly button and progresses to the side, as well as nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite. Fever and chills, along with constipation, can also occur.

Experiencing Constipation? It can be an Emergency. Consult a Doctor Now!

Fever and constipation are often unrelated to symptoms. In contrast to fever, an increase in body temperature is frequently linked to an immunological response to an infection or inflammation; constipation refers to difficulties passing stools or infrequent bowel motions. 

While constipation itself does not cause fever, there are situations where they may be indirectly related. Here are a few scenarios:

Underlying Infection

In some cases, constipation can be a symptom of an underlying infection, such as a gastrointestinal infection. This infection can lead to fever as the body’s immune system responds to the infection. So, while constipation and fever may coexist, it is the underlying infection causing the fever, not the constipation itself.

Complications of Constipation

Severe or chronic constipation can sometimes lead to complications such as fecal impaction, where stool becomes stuck in the colon and cannot be expelled. If the impaction leads to an infection, it can result in fever and other symptoms.

Inflammatory Conditions

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can cause symptoms such as constipation or bowel irregularities. During flare-ups of these conditions, fever can also be present due to the inflammatory response in the body.

Read More: Best Antibiotics for Diverticulitis Treatment

How to Treat Fever and Constipation 

Treating fever and constipation involves addressing the underlying causes of each symptom. Here are some general guidelines:

Fever Treatment

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal tea, or clear broth, to prevent dehydration caused by the fever.

Rest

Get adequate rest to support the body’s immune response and aid in recovery.

Over-the-counter medications

Non-prescription fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) can help lower the fever and relieve discomfort. Follow the recommended dosages for your age group and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or if the fever persists.

Constipation Treatment:

 Increase fibre intake.

Include fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fibre helps add bulk to the stool and promotes regular bowel movements.

Stay hydrated.

Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Sufficient hydration helps soften the stool and facilitates easier passage.

Physical activity

Engage in regular physical exercise, as it can help stimulate bowel movements and improve 

overall digestive function.

Medications and laxatives

Over-the-counter options like bulk-forming agents (psyllium husk), stool softeners (docusate sodium), or osmotic laxatives (polyethylene glycol) can provide temporary relief. However, consult a healthcare professional before using any laxatives, especially in children or individuals with specific medical conditions.

Establish regular bathroom habits.

Set aside regular times for using the bathroom to help train your body’s natural bowel movements.

Consult a Doctor Now for the Management of Constipation and Fever Simultaneously!

Consult a Doctor

If you have Constipation and a fever, you should consult a doctor for evaluation and guidance. While Constipation alone may not always be a cause for concern, the presence of a fever suggests an underlying condition that requires medical attention. Here are some guidelines on when to consult a doctor

High fever 

If your fever is high, typically above 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius), it is essential to seek medical attention promptly.

Prolonged symptoms

If your body temperature and Constipation don’t decrease after a few days, contact your doctor.

Severe pain

If you experience severe abdominal pain along with Constipation and fever could indicate a more serious condition that requires medical evaluation.

Additional concerning symptoms 

Suppose you have other concerning symptoms besides Constipation and fever, such as persistent vomiting, blood in the stool, significant weight loss, or signs of dehydration. In that case, it is vital to seek medical attention promptly.

Underlying health conditions

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease, a compromised immune system, or a history of gastrointestinal issues.

Change in level of consciousness or alertness 

This could indicate a severe underlying condition, such as an infection or obstruction, that requires urgent medical evaluation and treatment.

Dizziness

Severe dizziness, particularly when accompanied by other symptoms like fainting or difficulty maintaining balance, may suggest a significant issue that requires immediate medical attention.

Rapid heart rate or rapid breathing

A significantly increased heart rate (tachycardia) or rapid breathing (tachypnea) could indicate a systemic infection or severe dehydration. Prompt medical evaluation is necessary.

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory or breathing problems (e.g., shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or choking). These symptoms may indicate a serious respiratory issue or a potential airway blockage, requiring immediate medical intervention.

Rigid, board-like abdomen

A rigid abdomen, particularly when accompanied by severe pain, fever, and Constipation, may indicate a condition like peritonitis or intestinal perforation, a medical emergency.

Jaundice

Jaundice can be a sign of liver or gallbladder dysfunction, associated with severe infection, inflammation, Constipation and fever.

FAQs About Constipation and Fever Answered by Your Doctors Online

Does being constipated raise your blood pressure?

Constipation itself is not known to raise blood pressure directly. However, constipation-related factors, such as straining during bowel movements and the accompanying pain or discomfort, may temporarily increase blood pressure. This effect is typically short-lived and insignificant enough to cause a sustained rise in blood pressure. Managing constipation effectively is essential to avoid excessive straining, especially if you have pre-existing high blood pressure or cardiovascular conditions.

Can constipation cause headaches?

 Constipation doesn’t directly cause headaches, but it can lead to bloating and pain, creating a general feeling of discomfort that may contribute to headaches. Tension and stress caused by constipation can worsen or trigger new headaches. Dehydration, often linked to constipation, can also be a common cause of headaches.

Can inflammation cause fever?

Yes, inflammation can cause fever. When the body is exposed to infection, injury, or specific immune responses, it triggers an inflammatory reaction. During inflammation, immune cells release cytokines that can affect the hypothalamus, regulating body temperature. This can result in the production of prostaglandins, resetting the body’s thermostat and causing a fever. Fever is a natural response to inflammation, helping enhance immune function and combat infections.

Can constipation cause fever in toddlers?

In most cases, toddler fever is not caused by constipation. Toddler fever is more frequently linked to respiratory or urinary tract infections. A fever could, however, develop due to severe constipation or constipation-related problems like an infection or intestinal blockage.

Does constipation make you feel sick and tired?

Yes, constipation can make you feel sick and tired. When waste material builds up in the colon and is not eliminated regularly, it can lead to discomfort, bloating, and a general feeling of malaise, Sickness and lethargy.

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