Hard stool is a condition indicating the presence of a hard stool that is difficult to pass from the body. This usually happens when the person is suffering from constipation, but the sign is also associated with other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or colitis.


What kind of diseases can be associated with hard stools?

The following diseases may be associated with hard stools:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Colorectal cancer

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence. 


What is the therapy for hard stools?

If the problem is associated with constipation and poor intestinal activity, the diet should be supplemented with fiber, increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains or alternative supplements and increased intake of fluids.

Also physical activity helps the intestines to work more regularly. Laxative or purges may be needed avoid the condition.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of hard stools?

When the symptoms appear sporadically or are connected to a condition known as constipation, there is no need to resort to an emergency medical care. However, it may be useful to seek advice from a family doctor, a gastroenterologist or a nutritionist. We recommend consulting with your doctor if the problem persists for more than three weeks and if the hard stools are accompanied by acute abdominal pain. A doctor should be also visited, if the stool appears to be thin and stretched, if the constipation is alternating with diarrhea, if there is pain felt in the rectal area, if presence of blood is noticed in the stool and if there is a sudden and unexplained weight loss.