It’s time for some poop talk, peeps! As gross as it may sound, but the fact is that there are many among us who struggle with this natural process and need some help to sort out their “shit”.
Bowel movement and its frequency may differ from person to person, with some frequenting their toilet thrice a day for pooping while others are comfortable relieving themselves just once in three-four days. It all depends on the health and lifestyle of the person, and both the situations are not something unusual or demanding attention. However, there are a handful of people who go days, even weeks, without pooping and that, my friend, is a cause for concern. Having said that, let us now familiarize you with some things that may happen if you don’t poop for a week or more.
Constipation is a common problem.
How to determine if you are constipated?
Though there is no precise measure of classifying a person as constipated, a person having three or fewer bowel movements a week can be considered constipated. As per Mayo Clinic, a state of constipation spanning weeks together is termed as chronic constipation, and needs medical attention.
Dry stool gets stuck.
Normally, when food passes through your body eventually converting into waste, the water coming out from it is absorbed by the intestines to impact it into the stool. However, in the case of constipation, the movement of food becomes sluggish and lingers for long in the colon, thereby allowing too much water to be absorbed from it, rendering the stool dry. This dryness makes it harder to push the waste out from the body, causing it to get stuck.
Risk of anal fissures increases.
Dry stool lacks sufficient lubrication and attempting to release it out of the body may prove hazardous. It may tear or bruise your anal skin causing anal fissures, which may show in the form of blood in your faeces or toilet bowl. In this scenario, you must consult a doctor who may advise laxatives or other necessary treatment for it.
Risk of Diverticulitis increases.
Another of those constipation side effects that sound nasty is Diverticulitis. To help you understand better, let me start by telling you that as you get older, some sort of bulges, called diverticula start forming on the lining of your colon. In the case of constipation, straining or exerting too much pressure to pass stool may result in such bulges in the colon, which may eventually become infected from the nasty constituents of the trapped stool.
Over-accumulation may lead to impaction.
If it has been too long a time and you haven’t been successful enough to get rid of your constipation, then a pile-up inside your rectum is inevitable. It is called fecal impaction and is a serious medical condition requiring proper medical treatment. Depending on your condition, you may be advised to drink a lot of water, heavy-duty laxatives or even enema.
Your bladder control may be affected.
Colon and bladder are in close proximity to each other and hence any strain on the colon while trying to get rid of the stool may affect the bladder too. If the bladder experiences too much pressure from the colon, it will behave absurdly by not filling in all the way or emptying badly. It may also cause unexpected leaks causing erratic bladder control. Over-straining for bowel movements may also damage pelvic floor muscles that play a very important role in bladder control.
A general misconception that accompanies constipation.
There’s a popular misconception surrounding constipation that you must get rid of. It is said that toxins start to build up inside your body when constipation takes over but the fact is that your colon takes care of the waste and doesn’t allow it to release toxins. The risk of bacteria infection arises only when the waste products manage to seep through the wounds or cuts present in the rectum or colon.