Why Does My Nose Run When I Poop?

Have you ever experienced the strange phenomenon of your nose running while you’re on the toilet? It may seem like an odd coincidence, but it turns out that there’s actually a scientific explanation for this occurrence. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind why your nose runs when you poop and delve into the fascinating connection between your nasal passages and your digestive system. So, let’s dive in and uncover the truth behind this peculiar bodily response.

The Intriguing Phenomenon of “Rinorrea en la Defecación”

If you’ve found yourself constantly reaching for a tissue to blow your nose while sitting on the toilet, you may have thought it was just a strange coincidence. However, this occurrence, known as “rinorrea en la defecación,” is more common than you might think. But what exactly is rinorrea en la defecación?

Rinorrea en la defecación refers to the nasal secretion that occurs when you’re defecating. It’s essentially a runny nose while you’re on the toilet. Interestingly, this bodily response even has a fancy name to describe it. But what’s the reason behind it? Let’s explore further.

The Intricate Connection Between Your Digestive System and Your Nose

To understand why your nose runs when you poop, it’s essential to grasp what happens in your body during a bowel movement. The intricate coordination of nerve signals regulates your intestines, ensuring smooth and effortless defecation. This coordination is managed by your autonomic nervous system, which comprises the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that work together to keep your body functioning seamlessly.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes your intestines, is controlled by your autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic nerve fibers in the pelvis are responsible for triggering peristaltic contractions in the lower colon. These contractions help move waste through your digestive tract and eventually eliminate it as stool.

But here’s where the connection between your bowel movements and your nose comes into play. The same autonomic nerves that are activated to help propel your poop also regulate blood supply to your nasal area and mucus secretion. So, when your body prepares for bowel movements, it inadvertently activates the nerves in the nasal region as a byproduct. This can cause the blood vessels in your nose to dilate, resulting in nasal secretion.

The Role of Posture and Other Factors

While the phenomenon of rinorrea en la defecación is primarily connected to the process of defecation itself, it’s worth noting that your posture during bowel movements can also have an impact. Leaning forward while pooping may allow previously released nasal secretions to drip out of your nose rather than flowing down the back of your throat, as they would if you were reclining or lying down.

So, leaning forward can make your runny nose appear worse, and it doesn’t do any favors for your bathroom experience. A better posture is to sit upright with your back straight and both feet on a thick phone book or a low stool, allowing for a more squatting-like position. This positions your rectum at a better angle, facilitating easier bowel movements.

Other Possible Causes of Nasal Secretion During Bowel Movements

While the connection to defecation is the primary cause of nasal secretion, it’s also possible that it can be triggered by something called vasomotor rhinitis. In vasomotor rhinitis, nasal irritants such as strong odors, humidity, temperature changes, or even emotional shifts can trigger increased mucus production and release.

However, while emotions and particularly pungent odors (when you’re in the bathroom) can provoke rinorrea, it’s unlikely to be the primary mechanism behind rinorrea en la defecación, according to Dr. Michael Rice, a gastroenterologist at the University of Michigan Medicine.

Now that we’ve explored the fascinating connection between your nose and your bowel movements, let’s move on to some practical tips for managing rinorrea en la defecación and reducing nasal secretion during your bathroom visits.

Managing Rinorrea en la Defecación: Tips for Relief

If you frequently experience a runny nose while on the toilet, you may be wondering how to alleviate this discomfort. Here are some tips to help manage rinorrea en la defecación and reduce nasal secretion:

  1. Maintain proper posture: Sit upright with your back straight and both feet on a thick phone book or a low stool to achieve a more squatting-like position, which can facilitate easier bowel movements.
  2. Avoid leaning forward: Leaning forward while pooping can worsen nasal secretion and may not be conducive to effective bowel movements. Stick to an upright posture for better results.
  3. Consider nasal irrigation: Using a saline solution, such as a nasal spray or a neti pot, can help rinse your nasal passages and reduce nasal congestion and secretion during bowel movements.
  4. Identify and manage triggers: If you suspect that your nasal secretion during bowel movements is triggered by specific irritants or allergies, try to identify and avoid them. This may involve making changes to your environment, such as reducing exposure to strong odors or implementing allergy management strategies.
  5. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist: If your nasal secretion during bowel movements persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as severe nasal congestion, facial pain, or persistent fever, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.

Remember, while rinorrea en la defecación may be an unusual bodily response, it’s generally harmless and temporary. By implementing these tips and understanding the underlying mechanisms, you can manage this phenomenon and make your bathroom visits a more comfortable experience.


The connection between your nose and your bowel movements is an intriguing aspect of the human body. Rinorrea en la defecación, or a runny nose during pooping, is a common occurrence with a scientific explanation. The activation of autonomic nerves during bowel movements can cause nasal secretion, leading to a runny nose.

While posture and other factors may influence the severity of nasal secretion, the primary cause is the body’s preparation for defecation. By adopting a proper posture, practicing nasal irrigation, and identifying triggers, you can manage rinorrea en la defecación and reduce nasal secretion during your bathroom visits.

If you experience persistent or concerning symptoms, it’s always important to seek medical advice. Remember, understanding the connection between your nose and your bowel movements can help you navigate and manage this peculiar bodily response with ease.

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