Why Do I Cry When I Poop?

Why Do I Cry When I Poop

No matter how weird it may sound, people crying while pooping is not uncommon. While some people scroll through their mobile or read magazines, others wipe their tears while answering nature’s call. 

People who come under this category often wonder why do I cry when I poop, even when I am not feeling like so?

Here, it is important to note that we are not talking about crying accompanied by abdominal or pelvic pain because it may indicate an underlying problem. But, crying or getting watery eyes each time you pass the bowel without any physical issue. 

Believe me, you are not alone in this. There are a lot of people who have jotted down their experience of crying while popping on forums and other discussion sites and looking for answers. 

Let’s find out the possible reasons for this involuntary watering of the eyes, which is not accompanied by pain or discomfort. 

What Causes You To Cry When You Poop?

What causes you to cry when you poop

Popping tears, although unpleasant, are not uncommon. People who cry while popping have their own theories, but here we will discuss scientifically proven ones. 

1. Intra-abdominal Pressure 

If you often think, why do I cry when I poop, you can blame it on the intra-abdominal pressure (1). It refers to the pressure within the abdominal cavity, which is exerted by abdominal organs like the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and kidneys. Sometimes, gases and fluid in the abdomen cavity may also cause it. 

As one poops, the muscles around the abdominal area flex and tighten. The process helps to push the poop out of the colon. Besides, it also exerts pressure on the organs and membranes around them (2). 

In some people, this pressure takes its way to the nerves and blood vessels that line the abdomen. As a result, when you breathe, the pressure on nerves and blood vessels causes watery eyes. 

Crying while pooping due to intra-abdominal pressure is not accompanied by pain. Sometimes, this pressure goes up to the head, squeezing the lacrimal glands and pushing the tears out.

2. Vagus Nerve

The Vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve that originates in the brainstem and runs from the gut to the head in the body (3). It is responsible for multiple functions that involve respiration, swallowing and speech, heart and blood pressure, gastrointestinal, etc. 

Some believe that the position of the vagus nerve in the body can also be blamed for causing tears while pooping. 

Since the function of the vagus nerve revolves around sensory and motor nerves, it controls how you feel about the sensations in and around the head. Also, it controls the movement of muscles around the abdominal area, including the throat, heart, stomach, and bowel.

As you exert pressure on the bowel muscles while passing stool, the signals of strain and relief are obtained by the brain. It can have two responses from nerve-

  1. Goosebumps- due to the strain of pushing 
  2. Excitement- due to the change in the shape of the rectum, giving a feeling of satisfaction 

As it happens simultaneously, the nerve responds by lowering the heart rate and blood pressure, causing watery eyes.

Is It Okay To Cry When I Poop?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to get watery eyes while pooping. The pressure exerted on the tear glands due to intra-abdominal muscles and vagus nerve is the reason behind it. 

Also, the complex network of blood vessels and nerves in the body and the way they interact while exerting pressure on the abdomen and colon can make it possible. 

While there’s no data that collects the number of people who shed a tear while popping, evidence suggests that their number is relatively high. 

So, do not worry, wondering why I cry when I poop. 

When Crying While Pooping Is A Problem?

When crying while pooping is a problem

If other symptoms are accompanied by teary eyes, there could be some underlying issue. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing the following while popping-

  • Intense abdominal pain 
  • Black colored poop
  • Bloody poop
  • Swelling in the gut
  • Feeling full without eating 
  • Gas
  • Constipation 
  • Acid reflux

If you experience any of these, finding it difficult to poop or have to exert too much pressure on the abdomen for pooping, the chances are there is some medical issue. 

How To Have Healthy Poops?

In such cases, you can make small changes in your lifestyle to poop smoothly, strain-free, and tear-free. Here’s what you can do to have normal, healthy bowel movements-

  1. Include fiber in your diet: A good fiber-rich diet stays easy on the gut and makes the food easily digestible. At the same time, it helps with constipation, which is a major culprit for getting abdominal pain while straining. 
  2. Avoid stomach irritants: Certain foods like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, etc. can cause stomach irritation, leading to diarrhea. As a result, you may feel more strained while pooping, which can cause you to cry.
  3. Hydrate the body: Drinking at least 7 to 8 glasses of water ensures that the body is well hydrated and constantly replenishing the lost fluids. 
  4. Stay active: Indulging in physical activities or doing exercises keeps your metabolism great, making sure that you don’t pressurize much while pooping. 
  5. Respond to nature’s call: Do not hold the poop for long, as it can make it dry and thus harder to push later.
  6. Maintain a pooping schedule: Try to poop at the same time every day. Once it comes to habit, you’ll be passing the bowel as soon as you sit on the toilet seat at the same time. It brings the bowel into a regular rhythm which is essential for easy pooping.
  7. Get in the right sitting position: Sitting on the toilet seat with the legs flat on the ground is not a good habit. Instead, take the popular squatty potty position by raising the legs slightly up towards the knees. You can do it by keeping a toilet step stool under the foot. It eases the movement of poop to come out from the colon. 


Now that we have answered your question, why do I cry when I poop? Even when there’s no reason, you can stay relaxed. As long as you are not in pain or having any discomfort sitting on the toilet seat, you can enjoy popping while shedding a few tears. 

However, if pooping and crying are accompanied by gut pain and other troubles, you may need to consult a doctor. A few lifestyle changes can help improve the condition. 


  1. National Library Of Medicine – Intra-abdominal pressure: an integrative review
  2. National Library Of Medicine – What is normal intra-abdominal pressure
  3. National Library Of Medicine – Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain

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