Nosebleeds and diarrhea are two symptoms that rarely combine, and that's just as well because the last thing you want when you're evacuating your bowels is for your nose to burst and demand your attention. However, there are a few ways that these two seemingly unrelated symptoms are linked.
If you have a sensitive stomach, approach the following article with caution!
Nosebleeds and Diarrhea
It's rare for diarrhea and nosebleeds to occur together, as the latter is typically indicative of a digestive problem while the former usually indicates nasal trauma. However, there are a few potential causes that could lead to both of these symptoms occurring at the same time:
One of the most common causes of diarrhea is medication side effects and drug interactions. These are rarely responsible for nosebleeds, but they could affect the way that the body forms clots or even raise blood pressure, thus making the blood vessels in the nose more susceptible to harm and increasing the rate of blood loss.
Aspirin is a great example. It works by reducing the body's ability to form blood clots and its side effects include stomach cramps, abdominal pain, heartburn, and diarrhea.
Iron pills can also cause stomach problems, including loose stool and vomiting.
If you're taking medicine with certain dietary symptoms or foods like grapefruit and grapefruit juice, you may also experience side effects.
Upper respiratory infections can aggravate the sinuses and may trigger a nosebleed. If you have a runny nose, you'll want to blow it and even pick it, and that's where most nosebleeds originate. It may also cause nasal dryness as you constantly wipe and rub your nose.
Infections may cause intestinal symptoms as well, including constipation and diarrhea.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are psychological issues that have an impact on physical health. When we're stressed, it impacts everything from our bowel movements to our sleep patterns and habits. We tend to adopt unhealthy habits that we often don't realize we're doing, including nose picking and forceful nose blowing. Stress has also been known to cause intestinal cramping, which can lead to loose stools and rapid bowel movements.
Stress can even weaken your immune system, increasing the likelihood of contracting infections.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that keeps the blood healthy and ensures the body is producing enough red blood cells.
If you're not getting enough of this vitamin, you may experience an array of symptoms, including diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, and tiredness. It also increases the levels of homocysteine in the blood, which could make you more prone to blood vessel ruptures.
B12 deficiency is more commonly seen in vegans, as it's a nutrient typically found in foods of animal origin. Vegans can substitute these foods for something like nutritional yeast, which is high in protein and B12. They can also take B12 supplements to ensure they're meeting their daily requirements.
Unrelated Medical Conditions
In addition to the above, it's possible that these two symptoms are completely unrelated. The most common causes for nosebleeds include nose picking, trauma, and nasal dryness, with the latter often occurring without the patient even being aware.
If the skin on your hands and face are very dry and flaky, there's a good chance that you're having the same issues with the inside of your nose, and because the lining of your nose is very thin and the blood vessels are very delicate, it won't take much for them to become damaged.
It's not unheard of for these issues to be present at the same time that you have diarrhea resulting from a dietary problem or infection. It could also be the result of medical conditions like ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Bloody Noses and Bloody Stools
You can stop a nosebleed by lightly pinching your nose, leaning forward, and waiting for the excess blood to drain away and the wound to clot and heal. It usually takes just a few minutes and is rarely anything to worry about. But if you're bleeding heavily and are not equipped with the basic advice for managing nosebleeds, that blood might run down your throat and accumulate in your stomach.
It could cause nausea, sickness, and stomach pain. Assuming you don't expel it by vomiting, that blood will eventually work its way through your digestive system and come out the other end.
When this happens, your stools may be dark, sticky, and even black. It's not common, as you would need to swallow a lot of blood for this to happen, but if you do, and you also happen to be suffering from diarrhea (it's just not your day!), then it's possible to have loose, runny, and dark red stools.
If the blood in your stools is much brighter, it's more likely to be from your bowels or rectum and could be the result of an anal fissure (a small tear) or a burst hemorrhoid.
Blood in the stool could also be a sign of bowel cancer, so if it occurs frequently and you notice any other symptoms (including changes in your bowel habits and abdominal pain) you should consult with your health care provider.
Getting Help from a Health Care Provider
If you experience multiple symptoms that don't have an obvious cause, including diarrhea, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and abdominal pain, you should consult with a medical professional.
As noted above, there are an array of medical conditions that could be at fault, but there are also problems that we didn't touch upon, including cancer and anemia. It always pays to speak to your doctor and get a diagnosis, because while diarrhea and nosebleeds rarely indicate anything serious, there are exceptions and it's better to be safe than sorry.