The human body is an impressive machine. You can eat almost anything and it will be digested in your stomach, nutrients are pulled out and absorbed into your body, and toxins are ejected. The remains of the food are moved through your body with the aid of strong muscles and plenty of water. The result is stools that should be soft enough to easily pass.
However, there are several reasons why this process doesn’t always work properly. One of the most obvious is dehydration. The stools won’t get the moisture they need and will be dry, making it harder for them to move through your colon and out of your body.
Your diet can also affect the consistency of your stools, making it harder for you to pass them. Alongside this, there are several other issues that can cause constipation. That’s why, if you regularly feel constipated, strain to shift stools, don’t feel capable of emptying your bowels properly or have to get help to empty your bowels, you need to seek medical help.
This is also true if you aren’t normally constipated but if you have been constipated for a while. It’s important to see a good colorectal surgeon. They will check you over, identify the issue, and help you resolve the problem.
In many cases, this can be done without the need for surgery, although surgery is always an option.
Problems Resulting From Being Constipated
The average person should pass stools at least three times a week. You may even pass them twice a day. This is normal and healthy. However, if you’re passing them less than twice a week and it’s been more than two weeks, you need to seek medical help.
It’s important to note that if you’re not passing stools then the waste is building up inside your colon. This can result in several issues:
Haemorrhoids are often referred to as piles. They can be inside or outside the anus and most adults will experience them at some point in their life.
In effect the veins around and in your anus become swollen. This can be painful and will result in bleeding when you’re straining to use the toilet. They aren’t usually harmful and will clear up by themselves.
- Rectal prolapse
This is when part of the large intestine falls through your anus and protrudes. It’s often a result of pressure from stools building up in your colon.
It’s not usually a medical emergency but it will be uncomfortable. It can heal with the aid of stool softeners but it often requires surgery to put everything back in the right place.
The longer you go without passing stools the more waste will build up in your body. This causes the stools to compact as they are pushing against each other. Unfortunately, this also places strain on the walls of your colon and intestine.
If the issue isn’t resolved the pressure will become strong enough that it tears the bowel wall, allowing waste products to seep into your body. This is a serious issue, potentially poisoning your body.
The bottom line is simple, if you’ve been constipated for more than two weeks, get medical help.