Legs Shaking When You’re Having a Poop?

Let’s just admit the unpopular fact that the first thing you want to do in the morning after waking up has a good poop! I know a lot of you might find it gruesome instead of considering this a healthy habit, but it is what it is.

I mean pooping is as usual and physiological as breathing, right? Because what we do is, not think about having “shit” let alone speak about it in public.

Although it might appear strange, there are various weird pooping habits exhibited by many individuals which have mostly been silent and unspoken. Among these, shaking legs while pooping is one of the few unusual tendencies.

If you think you are doing this particularly for a mental disorder, then buckle up and have your misconceptions cleared right away.

From this write-up, you will have your questions answered on “why do my legs shake when I poop” and how to deal with these unpleasant and unbecoming problems.

Leg shaking while pooping happens due to a gastrointestinal problem, any neurological disorder, temporary response to stress on your body, cramps on your leg, and so on!

General Causes of Leg Shaking

There is no obvious indication of any life-threatening disease associated with shaking legs subconsciously. This can happen when you are anxious if boredom strikes you while trying to focus on your work or if you have any mental condition.

leg-shaking

Some of the possible reasons for leg shaking, in general, are listed in the following.

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Alcohol
  • Mediations like corticosteroids, antidepressants, bronchodilator drugs
  • Concentration
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Mental disorders like Parkinson’s disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Multiple sclerosis
It is necessary to point out that leg shaking can be a probable symptom of these mentioned conditions, not a disorder or bodily malfunction itself.

Why Do My Legs Shake When I Poop?

People feel literally “relieved and relaxed” after having a good poop. Did you ever ask yourself what triggers this feeling? For this, you need to know a little about the vagus nerve. This nerve ( the 10th cranial nerve) stimulates numerous activities that have control of multiple organs like the heart, lungs, intestines, etc.

It supplies motor parasympathetic fibers to almost every organ and a few skeletal muscles. It has a major role in the digestive tract because your gut is connected to the brainstem through the vagus nerve itself. Therefore, you can relate to why stimulation of the vagus nerve and digestion are connected to one another.

why-do-my-legs-shake-when-i-poop

If you try to pinpoint one particular reason why your legs shake when you poop, you might not come to one unless you have yourself tested first. It can be due to a gastrointestinal problem, any neurological disorder, temporary response to stress on your body, cramps on your leg, and so on!

Do understand that the following causes can happen anytime or even occasionally, not principally when you are in the toilet having poop. But these are the closest causes that can associate with irregularities during a bowel movement.

Now let’s take a look at the details.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, restless legs syndrome (RLS) is the irresistible urge to move or shake your legs. It is said to occur in people who have been sitting or lying in a constant position for a prolonged period.

This happens to run in families and commonly develops for iron deficiency, depression, Hyperthyroidism, etc. Some of the associated symptoms of RLS are: sleep disturbance, leg and arm discomfort, irritability or moodiness due to behavior and work performance problems, etc.

So when you poop, you might feel the strong need to move your legs and shake them uncontrollably without even realizing it.

Constipation

Constipation has got to be the commonest digestive issue ever! Pooping itself becomes troublesome and painful when you are constipated. It does not typically cause leg pain, but it causes back pain which may induce pain in the lower back and legs.

constipation

Muscle strains while making an attempt at a bowel movement may be a probable reason why your legs get cramped and you see rigor and trembling while sitting for a poop. Abdominal bloating, accumulation of gas may occur as well.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

This is one of the most common digestive problems affecting more women than men. It causes damage and functional disruption in the large intestine. The clinical manifestations of IBS include abdominal pain, irritability, cramping in surrounding areas, changes in bowel habits, flatulence, increased amount of gas, diarrhea, constipation, etc.

For Irritable bowel syndrome, there is no mundane cure. You can only resolve the symptoms momentarily by the help of home remedies like dietary adjustments, leading an active life, avoiding spicy food etc.

In severe cases of IBS, you might observe shaking of legs too. Keep in mind that the symptoms don’t co-exist together and are not always persistent.

Anxiety

Ever heard of the ugly and unwanted symptoms of having diarrhea after somebody had anxiety attacks? Or at least feel crampy in the stomach? There is a strong link between anxiety with bowel changes. The term “nervous poop” is popular among people facing this horrid physical change in the body.

During anxiety, there will be a rapid and significant hormonal imbalance that will directly interrupt the normal process of digestion and impair the cellular functions of the gut. While your body is under stress, serotonin and adrenaline levels elevate and cause unwelcomed bowel movements without the influence of any other factors.

Hence, if you have anxiety and you see your legs shaking during having a poop, you now know what triggers this response.

Tremor

The rhythmic and involuntary shaking of some parts of the body, be it the limbs or any other organ, is called a tremor. There are a few different categories: essential tremor, Parkinson’s tremor, dystonic tremor, cerebellar tremor, psychogenic tremor, orthostatic tremor, and physiological tremor.

Out of these mentioned types, dystonic tremor is related to our concerned topic. This is the involuntary muscle contraction in the face, hands, legs, even vocal cords! Dystonia is typically the derailed functioning of a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which coordinates the total movement of the body.

tremor

Patients with dystonic tremors are observed to display repetitive movements, twisting of limbs, and trembling. This is said to be one of the most common movement disorders that are inherited or idiopathic.

Neuropathy

Disfunction and damage in the peripheral nerves of the body that causes numbness, tingling, throbbing pain, and sensitivity to heat or touch are called neuropathy. Some of the causes of neuropathy are diabetes, trauma, hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, etc.  When you are pooping, this tingling sensation might make your limbs shake.

Incomplete Evacuation of Bowel

This point may sound a little awful but this is one bad habit everybody gets accustomed to. A lot of you do this and leave the toilet without fully expelling the stool out of the body. 

Medication

Last but not least you can observe shaking of legs while pooping if you are under the influence of any chemical product or medications resulting as a side effect. Reflux drugs, corticosteroids, antidepressants, and neuroleptics can have symptoms that make you shake your limbs. Luckily it goes away after the effect of the medicine wears off. Stopping the intake of the listed medicines will also cease shaking. 

Diagnosis

The diagnostic criteria depend on the severity of the symptoms. If you already have a probable disease or malfunction detected, it’s better to go for specific investigations for confirmation of the diagnosis. In general, you might need to get a CT scan, MRI, and other activity-oriented function tests to rule out the disease you may have.

Treatment Options: How to Stop Leg Shaking?

After you have a proper diagnosis you need to seek the advice of your clinician. This treatment plan will vary for each group of disorders. Medications would be good enough yet a lot of you will require therapy or even surgery if the body demands.

  • If you have irregular constipation, you can try a bulk laxative containing fibre. But when the situation is severe and persistent for a long time, you should seek medical advice. But make sure not to overuse them.
  • If you are diagnosed with Restless legs syndrome, you need to try non-drug treatments before jumping into medications. These approaches are:  regular exercise, avoiding caffeine products, maintaining a proper sleep cycle with adequate sleep of 7-9 hours etc. For frequent and severe cases, the medication options are : Dopamine agonists, anti seizure drugs, sedatives, opioids etc to relieve the bothersome symptoms.
  • For Irritable bowel syndrome, there is no mundane cure. You can only resolve the symptoms momentarily by the help of home remedies like dietary adjustments, leading an active life, avoiding spicy food etc. You may need to have medicines for constipation and drugs to control muscle spasm.
  • If you have tremor, you will be a little displeased with the fact that this comes off with practically no cure. Certain medications and deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery may be tried although it’s effectiveness can not be ensured after surgery. They will reduce the symptoms to the maximum extent but not entirely. Newer and more enhancing techniques are pallidotomy, rhizotomy etc having lower risk of side effects.
  • For anxiety disorders, you need to do activities like meditation, physical exercise etc to reduce anxiety and have healthy foods that soothe your tummy. Following proper diet and mindful techniques that induce a relaxing effect on your brain will help you in the longer run.

It’s not always evident what type of disease you have. You need to run a handful of tests for confirmation and possibly wait for days for the results.

So here is what you can do. Here are some of the most efficacious home remedies that will relieve the symptoms you are having.

  • Do stretching that aims to strengthen muscles in legs and hip.
  • Eat healthy! This is unquestionably the most useful and nourishing solution.
  • Have adequate sleep for 7-8 hours.
  • Go for body massages. It not only gives relaxation but it stimulates the muscles in your body. Besides, who doesn’t like a nice massage?
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, tea.
  • Don’t hold onto poop! Just run to the toilet whenever you have the appropriate circumstance.                           

Final Words

The mentioned causes of why you shake your legs while you have a poop may sound serious, but it’s possible to reach an effective solution if you follow the treatment plans. Everything has an attainable cure, if not absolute, you can obtain temporary relief and keep them under control without deterioration.

Do not ignore any unusual habit or suddenly developed manifestations. Be it having hiccups frequently or gasping while climbing stairs or what I just discussed earlier. Remember that things can worsen with time if left untreated. Hence, don’t hesitate to call a doctor and have a thorough check-up.

After all, you should never compromise the most priceless asset you own, your own health and wellbeing. Take care of yourself and live life to the fullest!

FAQs

Why does pooping occasionally give me chills?

This occurs due to the feeling of “poo-phobia”. When you expel a large poop, your brain gets the signal and you will observe a drop in blood pressure and sweating along with a chilling sensation. 

Why do my legs get weak when I poop?

This is the phenomenon because of the “vasovagal reflex”. People often tense their muscles in the abdomen during bowel movements which causes your heart rate to become slow and a drop in the blood pressure for the time being. This is exactly when you feel weak and lightheaded when you poop.

Why do my legs shake when I have diarrhea?

If you have diarrhea as a result of food poisoning or IBS, you can observe the shaking of your legs while pooping. There may be cramping of legs in severe conditions as well.

Maisha Zarnaz

Maisha Zarnaz

I am Maisha, currently studying for MBBS in Armed Forces Medical College, Dhaka. The advancements in medical science enthrals me a lot, hence I like to read medical blogs and articles and help people with whatever knowledge I have been able to acquire on healthy eating, lifestyle and skin care. I love watching TV series or baking when I'm free and music has always been my passion.

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