Constipation and fever can occur at the same time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the constipation caused your fever. The fever may be caused by an underlying condition that’s also related to constipation.
For example, if your constipation is caused by a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection, that infection may result in fever. The cause of the fever is the infection, not the constipation, even though they occur simultaneously.
Keep reading to learn more about what might cause constipation and fever.
If you poop fewer than three times a week, you’re constipated. Other signs and symptoms include:
- experiencing hard or lumpy poop
- needing to strain to poop
- feeling that you can’t completely empty out all your poop
- feeling like there’s a blockage preventing you from pooping
If you’ve experienced two or more of these symptoms, including pooping fewer than three times a week, your constipation may be considered chronic.
According to Harvard Medical School, typically constipation isn’t related to an illness. It’s usually caused by lifestyle, diet, or some other factor that hardens the poop or interferes with its ability to pass easily and comfortably.
Causes that may lead to chronic constipation include:
- nutritional problems, such as not enough fiber or liquid consumption
- sedentary lifestyle
- blockages in the rectum or colon, caused by conditions such as bowel obstruction, bowel stricture, rectocele, rectal cancer, colon cancer
- nerve problems around the rectum and colon caused by conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, autonomic neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury
- functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- conditions that affect hormones, such as diabetes, hyperparathyroidism, hypothyroidism, pregnancy
- problems with pelvic muscles, such as dyssynergia and anismus
If your child is constipated and develops a fever, see your pediatrician. Other reasons to take your constipated child to the doctor include:
- the constipation has lasted longer than 2 weeks
- there’s blood in their poop
- they’re not eating
- their abdomen is swollen
- their bowel movements cause pain
- they’re experiencing rectal prolapse (part of the intestine coming out of their anus)
Causes of constipation in children
When poop moves through the digestive tract too slowly, it can become hard and dry. This can result in constipation.
Contributors to constipation in your child may include:
|dietary changes||consuming too small of an amount of fluids or fiber-rich foods|
|withholding||ignoring the urge to poop|
|toilet training issues||rebelling by holding in poop|
|changes in routine||traveling, experiencing stress, and other changes|
|family history||children are more likely to develop constipation if they have family members who’ve experienced constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic|
|milk allergy||consuming cow’s milk and other dairy products|
Although rare, constipation could be caused by an underlying condition, such as:
- endocrine conditions, such as hypothyroidism
- nervous system conditions, such as cerebral palsy
- medications, such as certain antidepressants
Treating constipation in children
Your pediatrician may offer a long-term recommendation that includes making sure your child gets enough:
For immediate constipation concerns, your pediatrician may recommend:
- over-the-counter (OTC) stool softeners
- OTC fiber supplements
- glycerin suppositories
- OTC laxatives
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, you should never give your child stool softeners, laxatives, or enemas, unless specifically instructed by your pediatrician.
Although constipation may not be the cause of your fever, the two conditions may be related.
If you have signs of chronic constipation or constipation combined with other conditions, such as fever, talk about it with your doctor. They can conduct a full diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan.
If your child has been constipation for longer than 2 weeks, take them to a pediatrician. Take them without delay if they have constipation and:
- blood in stool
- lack of appetite
- swollen abdomen
- pain when pooping