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What causes large stools?

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Quick Answer

Large stools are typically caused by constipation, which is a common symptom of conditions such as pregnancy, encopresis and hemorrhoids, according to Healthline, the University of Maryland Medical Center and WebMD. Constipation may also result in large hardened stools that tear parts of the anus, resulting in bleeding and anal fissures, reports MedlinePlus.

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Typical causes of constipation include lack of physical activity, diets low in fiber, dehydration and waiting to relieve the bowels when there is an urge to relieve them, according to MedlinePlus. Travel, stress and medical conditions such as colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome can also contribute to constipation. Common treatments include medicine, stool softeners, fluids, fiber, gentle laxatives and stimulant laxatives.

If a patient produces large stools that are unusually large or accompanied by other symptoms, the patient should visit a doctor for an examination to see if there is an underlying medical condition. Encopresis is a condition that usually occurs in children, and it involves constipation as well as anal pain, as WebMD explains. Hemmorrhoids lead to several other symptoms in addition to constipation, including anal pain, anal itching, bright red blood when defecating and tender lumps located next to the anus, as the University of Maryland Medical Center details.

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