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"Why each time I move my bowels I develop a runny nose?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy each time I move my bowels I develop a runny nose?


Do not have any other complaint and don't take any medicines. Don't have history of allergies


I am sorry to hear that when you have a bowel movement that you develop a runny nose, and that you are worried about what might be going on. I am happy to give you some of my thoughts about what might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment to be evaluated by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician or otolaryngologist. They will be able to take more of a history and examine you which is what is ultimately necessary to come up with the most accurate diagnosis. The most worrisome problem that an ENT will want to talk to you about and rule out is CSF rhinorrhea. This is when there is some violation in the skull base (that separates the brain from the nose) and the fluid that surrounds the brain (CSF) leaks out through the nose. It is usually made worse with tilting your head forward, or with bearing down (like in a bowel movement). With that being said, a much more common and likely explanation is that your parasympathetic nervous system (involved in having a bowl movement) is being activated and in turn activates the mucous glands within the nose to give rhinorrhea (drainage). The ENT should be able to examine you and tell you if this is in fact what is going on.

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