Constipation can not only be the butt of jokes, it can be life-threatening. Many are unaware that something as routine as daily ablutions can actually result in a serious condition. In the UK, a young 24-year-old male suffered from a rare condition that was diagnosed at an advanced stage, and fortunately, he survived.
An article in the British Medical Journal Case Reports outlined how a patient who had a history of constipation, experienced severe pain in the abdomen and sought medical intervention. The patient was prescribed oral laxatives after diagnosis revealed that his large intestine was engorged with fecal matter. The patient was rushed into emergency a couple of days after his first visit when he returned complaining of excruciating pain. Further diagnosis revealed that the organs of the patient had begun to fail as a result of his poop backing up his system.
Diagnosed with megacolon and megarectum, a combination of rare conditions which basically meant that his colon was dilated beyond a threshold, the CT scans confirmed the worst. The patients’ kidneys had begun to pack up, resulting in extremely high acid levels in his blood. The triage of emergency procedures ended at the operation theatre where a surgery removed the fecal matter. The patient’s colon had begun tearing as a result of the build-up, and surgeons were able to intervene and fix the tear.
The report’s author highlights the fact that patients with a history of constipation are likely to face unusual circumstances in their life and need to be ready with simple solutions to avoid complications and medical emergencies. In the author’s words, ‘though rare, it can be fatal’. Such patients typically experience frequent bouts of constipation, extreme abdominal pain, and a bloated feeling from a very young age. These are indications of what the future holds in store for such patients. The use of enemas and laxatives will help overcome such conditions and patients can head back home without the need for a surgical intervention. However, it is necessary that patients diagnosed with these conditions stick to a healthy diet and routine, which will include periodic colon-cleansing.