What are some causes of hard stools in adults?


Quick Answer

While there are many causes of hard stools in adults, a lack of hydration, exercise and fiber are possible causes, according to WebMD. When a person has hard stools 25 percent or more of the time, he is constipated, but hard stools can also cause diarrhea.

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Full Answer

When hard stools are due to a lack of hydration, increasing fluid consumption to 1 1/2 to 2 quarts daily sometimes brings relief. The patient should avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee and soft drinks as they have a dehydrating effect. Some people also find milk and other dairy products cause constipation. Warm liquids, especially in the morning, may be helpful, advises WebMD.

Regular exercise also helps to move hard stools through the system, reports WebMD. If efforts to stimulate the bowels cause the urge to eliminate, the sufferer should attempt to pass stool.

A diet high in fiber is also helpful in preventing hard stools, reports WebMD. Foods that are high in fiber include legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods, including cereals and bread.

Most of the time people with constipation and hard stools do not have obvious illnesses that account for their problem, according to WebMD. If the problem persists, the use of a mild laxative sometimes brings relief. If the problem lasts more than two weeks, the patient should call his doctor.

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