When a stool refuses to come out of the anus!

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Fecal Congestion

Emobileclinic Specialist
When you eat food, it breaks down in your stomach and passes through your intestines. This process is known as digestion. The walls of your intestines absorb nutrients from the food. What remains as waste passes along to your colon and rectum. At times, things may go wrong in this process and the waste becomes stuck in the colon. This is known as fecal impaction of the colon. A fecal impaction is a large lump of dry, hard stool that remains stuck in the rectum. It is most often seen in patients with long-term constipation.

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The primary cause of fecal impaction of the colon is constipation. Constipation is difficulty passing stool or the infrequent passing of stool. Constipation is often the result of;

  •  medication side effects

  •  insufficient nutrient intake

  •  dehydration

  •  not consuming enough fiber

  •  an illness

  •  frequent bouts of diarrhea

  •  problems in the digestive system

  •  diseases such as diabetes or thyroid disease

  •  an obstruction of the intestinal tract

  •  continuous vomiting

  •  a spinal cord injury

  •  mental stress

Common symptoms include;

  •  Abdominal cramping and bloating

  •  Leakage of liquid or sudden episodes of watery diarrhea in someone who has chronic constipation

  •  Rectal bleeding

  •  Small, semi-formed stools

  •  Straining when trying to pass stools

  •  Bladder pressure or loss of bladder control

  •  Lower back pain

  •  Rapid heartbeat or light-headedness from straining to pass stool

  •  Dehydration

  •  Hyperventilation

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There will be examination of the stomach area and rectum. The rectal exam will reveal a hard mass of stool in the rectum. Colonoscopy may be done if there has been recent change in bowel habit to evaluate for colon or rectal cancer.


  •  Use of laxatives

  •  Removal of impacted stool.

  •  Enema to soften and lubricate the stool.

    Water irrigation

  •  Surgery may be needed in mega-colon case

  •  Complications that may arise

  •  Tear (ulceration) of the rectal tissue

  •  Tissue death (necrosis) or rectal tissue injury

  •  Abdominal pain and bloating

  •  Blood in the stool

  •  Hemorrhoids

  •  Anal bleeding

Avoid becoming constipated. Some diseases and certain medications make it impossible to avoid constipation, but making small lifestyle changes can help. Other things you can do are;

  •  Drink plenty of water every day to prevent dehydration.

  •  Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as whole wheat, pears, oats, and vegetables.

  •  Reduce your intake of foods that are high in sugar, which can cause constipation.

  • Exercise daily to help keep your digestive system running well.

It is instructive to know that post fecal impaction treatment requires a bowel retraining program. The doctor and a specially trained nurse or therapist will have to take a detailed history of your diet, bowel patterns, laxative use, medications, and medical problems.


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