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Can the Flu cause Bowel movement problems?

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Old 02-08-2008, 01:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 95
Tommy212 HB User
Can the Flu cause Bowel movement problems?

I'm just recently getting over the Flu/Cold (I'm not sure which one I had).. my symptoms consisted of: coughing, sneezing, nasty body aches (muscle pains, especially when i cough), runny nose, headaches, fever, nausea, extreme fatique etc.

My concern is I haven't had ANY bowel movements since I got the Cold/Flu 5 days ago. So yes, for 5 days straight I haven't had any bowel movements. Granted I haven't ate much since I got sick because of loss of appetite but NOT up to the point where i shouldn't have any bowel movements, I'm sure I ate enough to have at least 2 bowel movements by now. Does anyone have any information on this? The only thing that I've been taking as far as meds go are NyQuil Cold and Flu and Tylenol Cold, I doubt those would cause my bowel movement problems tho. Thanks for any information anyone can give.

Last edited by Tommy212; 02-08-2008 at 01:31 PM.

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Old 02-16-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St. Petersburg, FL United States
Posts: 38
purpleladyfish HB User
Re: Can the Flu cause Bowel movement problems?


Yes, having a common cold or the flu can affect your bowel movements. Like you said, your appetite decreased and you haven't ate much which would produce very little stool. Most importantly, you took cold/flu medication for several days which can dehydrate you and cause constipation. Think about it - if you have a runny nose what does the cold/flu medicine you take for it do to clear it up? It dries up the mucous so your nose doesn't run anymore. Its this dehydrating effect of the medication that will affect your bowel movements. Also, having a fever will dehydrate you. This is why all of our life we have heard or been told to drink plenty of liquids while sick. I had surgery for an anal fissure 1 1/2 years ago and my surgeon told me to always pay attention to what I put in my mouth as it will affect what comes out in the end. When I am sick with the flu or a cold I always increase my fluid intake and fiber as fiber keeps things bulked up and gives you the urge to have a bowel movement. If you are too ill to eat foods high on the fiber side then there are plenty of fiber supplements on the market that you can drink, pill forms, chewable caplets, etc. Always drink plenty of fluids while taking a supplement or you can actually get constipated from them. Also, pain medications dehydrate as well as caffeine. Try increasing your fluids and fiber maybe even a stool softener for a few days if you have not gone yet. Constipation is the number one cause of anal fissures and trust me, you do not want one of those. I hope things work out or have already worked out for you and your felling better.

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