Symptoms A-Z

Involuntary Defecation Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your involuntary defecation symptoms, including 8 causes and common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: accidental pooping

An image depicting a person suffering from involuntary defecation symptoms

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Contents

  1. 8 Possible Involuntary Defecation Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

8 Possible Involuntary Defecation Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced involuntary defecation. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Microscopic colitis

Microscopic colitis is caused by inflammation of the large intestine than can only be seen with a microscope. It is believed that microscopic colitis is caused by an overly aggressive immune response to a certain trigger that can be related to medication, an infection, autoimmune diseases, genetics, or a malabsorption of bile.

Symptoms primarily include(https://www.buoyhealth.com/symptoms-a-z/abdominal-cramps-stomach-cramps/), and an urgency to use the restroom.

Treatment depends on the cause, such as halting offensive drugs and taking anti-diarrheal medication or steroids. It is also important to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the recovery period.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), stomach bloating

Symptoms that always occur with microscopic colitis: diarrhea

Symptoms that never occur with microscopic colitis: bloody diarrhea

Urgency: Primary care doctor

New onset crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the bowel. It is caused by a faulty immune system response which makes the body attack the lining of the intestines.

The disease usually appears before age thirty and can affect anyone. Those with a family history may be most susceptible. Smoking is a known risk factor.

Aggravating factors include stress, poor diet, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Early symptoms usually develop gradually, but can appear suddenly. These include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, mouth sores, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and blood in stool.

Untreated Crohn's disease can cause ulcers throughout the digestive tract as well as bowel obstruction, malnutrition, and deteriorating general health.

Diagnosis is made through blood test and stool sample test. Colonoscopy, CT scan, MRI, endoscopy, and/or enteroscopy may also be used.

Crohn's disease cannot be cured, but can be managed through reducing the inflammation. Antibiotics, corticosteroids, and immune system suppressors may be tried. Excellent nutrition, vitamin supplements, smoking cessation, and reduction in stress can be helpful.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Multiple sclerosis (ms)

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease of the central nervous system. The body's immune system attacks nerve fibers and their myelin covering. This causes irreversible scarring called "sclerosis," which interferes with the transmission of signals between the brain and the body.

The cause is unknown. It may be connected to a genetic predisposition. The disease usually appears between ages 20 to 50 and is far more common in women than in men. Other risk factors include family history; viral infections such as Epstein-Barr; having other autoimmune diseases; and smoking.

Symptoms include numbness or weakness in arms, legs, or body; partial or total loss of vision in one or both eyes; tingling or shock-like sensation, especially in the neck; tremor; and loss of coordination.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, neurological examination, blood tests, MRI, and sometimes a spinal tap.

There is no cure for MS, but treatment with corticosteroids and plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) can slow the course of the disease and manage symptoms for better quality of life.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: severe fatigue, constipation, numbness, decreased sex drive, signs of optic neuritis

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Crohn's disease flare

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's can affect any area from the mouth to the anus, and may cause diarrhea and weight loss.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)

Urgency: In-person visit

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Celiac disease

Celiac disease is also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy, coeliac, or sprue. It is an autoimmune response in the gut to gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley.

  • Repeated exposure to gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine.

Most at risk are Caucasians with:

  • Family history of celiac disease.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.

Symptoms include digestive upset with gas, bloating, and diarrhea. The malnutrition causes fatigue, weight loss, fragile bones, severe skin rash, mouth ulcers, anemia, and damage to the spleen and nervous system.

A swollen belly, failure to thrive, muscle wasting, and learning disabilities are seen in children, and normal growth and development can be severely affected.

Diagnosis is made through blood testing and endoscopy, and sometimes biopsy of the small intestine.

There is no cure for the condition, but celiac disease can be managed by removing all gluten from the diet. Nutritional supplements will be used and sometimes steroid medication is given to help heal the gut.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, stomach bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhea

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Cauda equina syndrome (rapid-onset)

Although leg pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, leg weakness, thigh numbness

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Adrenoleukodystrophy

Adrenoleukodystrophy is an inherited disorder that affects the adrenal glands and the nervous system. It is a rare disorder that affects males, leading to the abnormal buildup of fatty acids in the nervous system and adrenal glands, the glands that produce sex hormones and cortisol. The childhood form (childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy) presents with cognitive and behavioral abnormalities and progresses to profound neurological damage and possibly death. The adult form (adrenomyeloneuropathy) presents primarily with weakness in the legs, sexual dysfunction, and bladder control problems, and progresses slowly over decades.

If untreated, the childhood form of this disorder can result in death or a vegetative state. Stem cell transplants and gene therapy are both promising in preventing neurologic decline in the childhood form of the disease. The adult form progresses more slowly over decades and may also benefit from gene therapy or other support.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, vomiting, hearing loss, general weakness, involuntary defecation

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Lower back (sacral vertebral) fracture

A sacral stress fracture is a small break in the sacrum. The sacrum is a large triangular bone at base of the spine. The sacrum connects to the pelvis.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, severe back pain, lower back pain from an injury

Symptoms that always occur with lower back (sacral vertebral) fracture: lower back pain from an injury

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Involuntary Defecation

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), like Crohn's or Ulcerative colitis?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Do you currently smoke?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Take a quiz to find out why you're having involuntary defecation

Involuntary Defecation Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced involuntary defecation have also experienced:

  • 7% Diarrhea
  • 7% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
  • 5% Leaking Urine

People who have experienced involuntary defecation were most often matched with:

  • 36% New Onset Crohn'S Disease
  • 36% Multiple Sclerosis (Ms)
  • 27% Microscopic Colitis

People who have experienced involuntary defecation had symptoms persist for:

  • 53% Over a month
  • 18% Less than a day
  • 16% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Involuntary Defecation Symptom Checker

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