This material must not be used for commercial purposes, or in any hospital or medical facility. Failure to comply may result in legal action. Medically reviewed by Drugs. Last updated on Feb 3, Fecal impaction is a buildup of hardened bowel movements in your rectum that you cannot pass. Your bowel movements may form one large mass or several smaller masses.
You could lose the urge to pass bowel movements. Constipation and other symptoms could return after treatment, or if you do not follow your healthcare provider's plan. Long-term blockages of your bowel movements could lead to sepsis a serious blood infection. It could also lead to low blood pressure, bleeding, or torn bowels. These conditions could be life-threatening.
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Constipation refers to fewer bowel movements than normal, or difficulty passing stool.
Impaction is often the result of unresolved constipation. With impaction, the bowels cannot be evacuated just by the normal muscle contractions that push stool out of the body. Medical intervention is usually needed. Certain medical conditions increase risk for fecal impaction 234 :. Most of the time though, fecal impaction is often the result of changeable lifestyle factors. Inadequate fiber intake, not drinking enough water, medications and unhealthy bowel habits like delaying defecation when the urge strikes all increase your risk.
Unresolved impaction increases the risk for medical complications, including 34 :. Summary : Fecal impaction refers to a hard mass of stool that becomes stuck in the colon. If left untreated, it can cause serious medical problems.
The most obvious sign of fecal impaction is an inability to poop. Other symptoms include 2 :. More severe cases of fecal impaction can cause symptoms in other parts of the body, such as rapid heart rate, fever and confusion 2. Your doctor will feel your abdomen and listen to it with a stethoscope. He may also insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum to feel for stool. If impaction is suspected following a physical exam, your doctor may order blood tests and imaging studies, such as X-rays or CT scans 2.
Summary: Common symptoms of fecal impaction include abdominal pain and tenderness, difficulty moving the bowels and rectal pain. You should see your doctor if you are showing symptoms of impaction, and particularly more severe ones like fever and fast heart rate.
Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and may order lab or imaging studies. Medical treatment for fecal impaction depends on the location and the severity of the blockage. The first line of treatment is sometimes manual disimpaction, or breaking up the stool with a finger.How to Treat Impacted Stools.
Fecal impaction is a serious complication of constipation in which the stool hardens and can no longer be eliminated with normal bowel movements. Surgery may be required if aggressive measures are not taken to try and eliminate the stool. Look for any of the following signs and symptoms of fecal impaction: absence of bowel movements, a sensation of fullness in the rectum, distention in the abdomen or abdominal discomfort, loss of urinary control, a firm mass in the lower left abdomen, watery stools or discharge from the rectum.
Eat plenty of fruits, leafy vegetables, bran and high-fiber cereals. Dried fruits such as apricots, dates and prunes are a great way to get fiber while backpacking. Administer a glycerin suppository to encourage passage of the stool and to prevent the hardened stool from damaging the rectal lining. If a glycerin suppository is unavailable in the field you may have to improvise an enema using mineral oil.
Digitally remove the stool with the following steps if none of the above measures successfully evacuates the stool. Put on a latex glove and administer an enema of glycerin or mineral oil. Lubricate the latex glove and insert the index finger into the rectum and gently locate the mass of stool. Break up the mass of stool piece by piece with gentle prodding, taking care not to damage to the rectal lining. Attempt to eliminate the pieces on a piece-by-piece basis using a glycerin suppository.
Evacuate the person if the impacted stool can't be located with a gloved finger, if digital probing fails to eliminate the stool, if a fever is present, or if the rectal lining is at all damaged in the removal process. Digital removal may be performed on oneself, but will require the supportive assistance of another person. Fecal impaction is a potentially dangerous situation requiring aggressive intervention in order to eliminate the feces.
Prevention is key - catching fecal impaction too late can require surgery.Original xbox xdk
Evacuate immediately if a person has not defecated in four to five days or has a distended abdomen. They will require the help of a trained medical professional to remove the stool.
The passage of a hard stool may be quite painful and measures should be taken to protect the rectal lining from damage. Never leave a person who is attempting to eliminate a fecal impaction alone in the attempt.
This procedure may be quite painful, and a person may need assistance if the rectal lining is damaged or he or she loses consciousness from the pain.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Drink copious amounts of water and avoid starch and meats. Administer a stool softener, laxative, or milk of magnesia. This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.A fecal impaction is a large lump of dry, hard stool that stays stuck in the rectum.
It is most often seen in people who are constipated for a long time. Constipation is when you are not passing stool as often or as easily as is normal for you. Your stool becomes hard and dry. This makes it difficult to pass. Fecal impaction often occurs in people who have had constipation for a long time and have been using laxatives. The problem is even more likely when the laxatives are suddenly stopped. The muscles of the intestines forget how to move stool or feces on their own.
The health care provider will examine your stomach area and rectum. The rectal exam will show a hard mass of stool in the rectum. You may need to have a colonoscopy if there has been a recent change in your bowel habits.
This is done to check for colon or rectal cancer. Treatment for the condition starts with removal of the impacted stool. After that, steps are taken to prevent future fecal impactions. A warm mineral oil enema is often used to soften and lubricate the stool. However, enemas alone are not enough to remove a large, hardened impaction in most cases. Surgery is rarely needed to treat a fecal impaction. An overly widened colon megacolon or complete blockage of the bowel may require emergency removal of the impaction.
Most people who have had a fecal impaction will need a bowel retraining program. Your provider and a specially trained nurse or therapist will:. Tell your provider if you have chronic diarrhea or fecal incontinence after a long period of constipation.
Also tell your provider if you have any of the following symptoms:.Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently pursuing lab sciences. She loves researching and sharing information on various health topics. You feel gassy and bloated, and your body is screaming for you to let it out—but whatever you do, nothing happens.
Or maybe, when you finally let go, there's a whole lot of straining involved and the pain is unbearable. So, what can you do? Constipation occurs commonly to more people than you think. It may be brought about by several causes—from stress to diet to dehydration. In this day and age, however, constipation has become more prevalent, thanks to people's sedentary lifestyles.
Though hardened stools may not have bothered you in the past, as you age, you may find yourself suddenly on the lookout for every impacted stool home remedy available. That's because as people grow older, they're less likely to remain active, and this inactivity increases the risk for experiencing constipation.
Digital Disimpaction and How It's Done
Though not an illness in itself, constipation may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism, IBS irritable bowel syndromeor cancer.
Another typical cause of constipation and fecal impaction in older adults is that they may be suffering from illnesses related to old age. These include diabetes and a number of neurological diseases. In addition, constipation is common side effect of many medications, so the medications we take as we age to treat other health problems may be in fact be causing constipation, as well.
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What's Your Pattern? There's no such thing as a standard frequency for bowel movement. What may be a normal BM pattern for you may not be normal to others.
The regularity may range from an average of thrice a day to an average of thrice a week. You'll know you're constipated if you're passing stools less frequently than usual and if you spend a significantly longer amount of time when defecating. In other words, if your thrice-daily trips to the toilet suddenly dwindles to thrice weekly, then you'll know that something's up. The fecal material is normally hardened because the more time it takes to be expelled from your body, the drier and firmer it becomes.
How to remove impacted stool at home: Best stool softener home remedy
Aren't Constipation and Fecal Impaction the Same? Not quite. Fecal impaction occurs when there's a development of an immovable bulk of waste material in the rectum. Another term for this is fecal loading. Imagine yourself being constipated for long periods and then passing very small amounts of hardened stools each time. The rest of the fecal matter get stuck in the rectum and end up accumulating during each unsuccessful attempt to evacuate the bowels. Paradoxical diarrhea happens when stool leaks around the obstruction.
For those who are still confused about the difference between the two, check the table below to compare the symptoms of each condition.
Fecal Impaction – Symptoms, Removal of Impacted Stool in Rectum
Constipation isn't always accompanied by solid fecal matter. If you've been constipated for a long time and suddenly find yourself passing small amounts of liquid stool on a frequent basis, you may already be experiencing fecal impaction related to chronic constipation. This condition is called encopresis or paradoxical diarrhea.
When you're suffering from constipation and impacted stool, it's easy enough to swoop down the local pharmacy and pop some tablets into your mouth.Speech to text github android
However, there's a downside to being overly dependent on laxatives. Apart from the fact that it can easily become habit-forming, it may also injure your colon and inflame your intestines. Furthermore, laxatives can lessen the effectiveness of any medication that you're taking for an existing illness. Some physicians would encourage the use of psyllium-based laxatives, since they are known to be gentler on the gastrointestinal GI tract. Even so, why risk the side effects of pharmaceuticals when constipation and fecal impaction can often be relieved by a few items in your cupboard?
In fact, it's usually recommended for managing constipation related to ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. You can get fish oil by adding fatty fish like tuna, halibut, and mackerel into your diet.Fecal impaction is a common gastrointestinal problem and a potential source of major morbidity. Prompt identification and treatment minimize the risks of complications. Treatment options include manual extraction and proximal or distal washout.
Following treatment, possible etiologies should be sought and preventive therapy instituted. Fecal impaction is a common gastrointestinal disorder and a source of significant patient suffering with potential for major morbidity.
The incidence of fecal impaction increases with age and dramatically impairs the quality of life in the elderly. The etiologic factors responsible for constipation can also lead to fecal impaction as an acute complication. Lack of mobility because of aging or spinal cord injury may also cause fecal impaction related to reduction of colonic mass movements and an inability to use abdominal muscles to assist in defecation. Medications known to retard gastrointestinal motility include opiate analgesics, anticholinergic agents, calcium channel blockers, antacids, and iron preparations.
The laxative-dependent patient is unable to produce a normal response to colonic distention and progressively requires higher doses to achieve a bowel movement. The typical presenting symptoms of fecal impaction are similar to those found in intestinal obstruction from any cause, including abdominal pain and distention, nausea, vomiting, and anorexia.
Additional complications such as stercoral ulceration, rectovaginal fistula, megacolon, and colonic perforation may ensue. Following a complete history and physical examination, plain abdominal films are indicated to search for intraluminal feces or signs of obstruction Fig.
The presence of bowel obstruction as evidenced by dilated small bowel or colon with air-fluid levels contraindicates attempts at proximal softening or washout using oral solutions.12 Things Your Stool Says About Your Health
Examination of the abdomen may reveal a malleable, tubular structure indicating a stool-filled rectosigmoid. Signs of perforation tenderness or peritoneal signs are generally absent. Treatment is aimed at relieving the major complaint and correcting the underlying pathophysiology to prevent recurrence.
Fecal impaction in the rectum often requires digital fragmentation and mechanical removal. If hardened stool is palpable in the rectum, it may require manual fragmentation or disimpaction. A lubricated, gloved index finger is inserted into the rectum and the hardened stool is gently broken up using a scissoring motion.
The finger is then moved in a circular manner, bent slightly and removed, extracting stool with it. This maneuver is repeated until the rectum is cleared of hardened stool. Manual disimpaction may be aided by the use of an anal retractor i. Softening of hardened stool and stimulation of evacuation with enemas and suppositories is often helpful. A variety of enema solutions are available, and each has characteristics that may be useful in selected patients.
Most enema solutions contain water and an osmotic agent. Docusate sodium is a surface-active agent that helps soften the stool as it mixes with water. Rectally administered solutions mechanically soften the impacted stool and the additional volume gently stimulates the rectum to evacuate. During enema administration, the patient is placed in the Sims' position with a plastic bag under the hips. The enema is given using a 24 French rubber catheter that is passed through a rubber ball i.
The ball allows the administrator to maintain a seal against the patient's anus. Balloon-tipped catheters are not used as they may damage the distal rectum and generally do not maintain an adequate seal.
Enema pressure is controlled by the height of the solution reservoir. Limiting the reservoir height to 3 feet above the anus maintains an adequate pressure limit. The volume and rate of fluid administration are guided by the size of the patient's rectum and the degree of fullness symptoms. Administration of smaller volumes 1—2 L may be more beneficial than a single large-volume enema.
A slower rate of enema administration produces less patient discomfort, aids in mixing of solution, and allows instillation of a larger volume.
The patient's sensation of fullness is a helpful guide during enema instillation. Volumes or rates that produce discomfort in the patient are avoided.An impacted bowel is one of the more unpleasant digestive issues you can experience.
Bowel obstruction symptoms occur when a mass of dry, hard stool will not pass out of the colon or rectum. Bowel impaction can become a serious issue if not treated, and in extreme cases may even result in death.
However, treatment is often easy once the bowel obstruction problem and its severity have been identified. See also our post Remedies for Constipation—Without Drugs. The most common and obvious symptom of an impacted bowel: Being unable to have a bowel movement no matter how hard you try, with accompanying pain in the abdomen or back. Other symptoms include:. One of the most common causes of an impacted bowel is an overuse of laxatives. When taking laxatives on a regular basis, your body may adjust itself and begin to depend on these laxatives in order to make a bowel movement.
Instead of using laxatives regularly, those affected by constipation or an impacted bowel should be sure to eat a diet high in fiber. How much fiber? Between 20 and 30 grams of fiber per day is required to encourage proper bowel function.
Unfortunately, most American diets contain only half of that amount, which can result in bowel impaction. In certain cases, an impacted bowel or constipation may result from a more serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndromediverticulitisand even colon cancer. He or she may perform one or more tests to determine the severity of your fecal obstruction symptoms.
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The main treatment for bowel impaction involves softening the stool so it can be removed or passed out of the body. If the bowel is palpable, your physician may be able to manually disimpact the stool.A list of the best drones under $200
This process, according to an article in Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgeryinvolves inserting a lubricated, gloved index finger in the rectum to gently soften and break up the stool. This process is repeated until the rectum is cleared of any stool impaction. An impacted bowel also can be removed through enemas and suppositories prescribed by your doctor.
Enema solutions usually contain water and some sort of osmotic agent that act to soften the impacted stool.
The additional volume of liquid also promotes the stool to evacuate the body. The pressure and volume of enema administration is determined by the size of the patient and how impacted the stool is in the body. After the enema is administered, patients usually wait a few minutes for the solution to mix and soften the stool. A massage of the lower abdomen can help the process until the patient voluntarily releases the impacted stool and solution. The process can be repeated until the symptoms are clear.
Too many enemas, however, can damage your intestine. Oral lavages also may be used to soften or wash out impacted stool. A laxative such as oral sodium phosphate can be prescribed to help soften and clear out an impacted bowel. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or significant abdominal discomfort may occur and should cease oral laxatives to treat an impacted bowel.
As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content. Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
View all posts by Matthew Solan. Usually about 3 to 4 times a week I have a large dry stool, I have gas almost every day my dry stool spears to be made up of small marble size stool compacted in one large one usually about the size of a tennis ball. If you have a bidet, you can squirt it up your rectum and flush everything out of your descending colon; if not, you can use your shower hose in the shower, to do the same, and flush the stool down the drain.
I am wonder how long it will be before I experience a full bowel movement. Nothing in release instructions discussed this.
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