How to Treat Faecal Impaction?

  • December 12, 2023
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How to Treat Faecal Impaction?

What is Faecal Impaction?

Faecal impaction is a severe condition marked by the buildup of hard, dry stool in the rectum and colon, resulting in a blockage. This obstruction poses challenges for individuals to pass stool, causing discomfort and a range of associated symptoms. Stemming from intense constipation, faecal impaction necessitates immediate attention and proper treatment. It is the consequence of the incapacity to regularly expel stool, leading to its accumulation in the large intestine or colon. Furthermore, it involves the inability to sense and respond adequately to the presence of stool in the rectum.

Why Does Faecal Impaction Occur?

Several factors contribute to the development of faecal impaction. One primary cause is chronic constipation, where infrequent bowel movements and the passage of hard stools become a regular occurrence. Inadequate fiber intake, dehydration, lack of physical activity, and certain medications can also contribute to constipation and increase the risk of faecal impaction.

In some cases, neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease or spinal cord injuries may affect the normal functioning of the bowels, leading to a higher likelihood of impaction. Additionally, individuals with a history of gastrointestinal disorders or those who ignore the urge to have a bowel movement may be more prone to faecal impaction.

How to Identify Faecal Impaction?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of faecal impaction is crucial for early intervention. Common indicators include:

  1. Severe Constipation: Persistent difficulty in passing stool despite regular attempts.
  2. Abdominal Pain: Discomfort or pain in the abdominal region, particularly in the lower abdomen.
  3. Rectal Pain: Pain or pressure in the rectum during bowel movements.
  4. Bloating and Distension: Abdominal bloating and a feeling of fullness due to the blocked stool.
  5. Nausea and Vomiting: In severe cases, nausea and vomiting may occur as a result of the impaction.
  6. Decreased Appetite: A loss of appetite may accompany faecal impaction, often due to the discomfort associated with the condition.
  7. Rectal Bleeding: Straining during bowel movements can lead to small tears in the rectum, resulting in rectal bleeding.