Fecal impaction

Fecal impaction: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Fecal impactionFecal impaction is the formation of a large mass of hard stool in the rectum. While this stool may be too large to pass, loose, watery stool may be able to get by, leading to diarrhea or leakage of fecal material. People are at great risk for developing a chronic constipation, which can lead to fecal impaction. Fecal impaction is a potential complication of chronic constipation. The development of constipation can be related to a diet low in fiber, limited fluid intake, medication side effects, lack of physical activity, or conditions affecting the colon, rectum or anus. Constipation can perpetuate itself as painful bowel movements, and can lead to the avoidance of further bowel movements. Frequent constipation is a very common problem, affecting more than four million people in the United States. There are several other different causes of fecal impaction. Some of the causes of fecal impaction include: Inadequate consumption of fiber.
  • Inadequate consumption of fluids.
  • Pain relieving medications.
  • Antidepressant medication.
  • Antacids containing aluminum.
  • Excessive laxative use.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Heart disease.
Fecal impaction can be prevented by eating a normal and a well-balanced diet. This includes foods that are high in fiber as well as a fluid intake of at least 6 to 8 glasses each day. The urge to have a bowel movement should not be put off. Persons with chronic constipation are often given stool softeners, such as docusate, or enemas to prevent the problem to reoccur. Symptoms: Some of the symptoms of fecal impaction include: Constipation. Other possible symptoms include: Bladder pressure or loss of bladder control.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Rapid heartbeat or light-headedness from straining to pass stool.
Diagnosis: The health care provider will examine your stomach area and rectum. The rectal exam will reveal a hard mass of stool in the rectum.If there has been a recent change in your bowel habits, your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy to evaluate for colon or rectal cancer. Treatment: If you have disease, your PCP may remove at least part of the fecal mass manually by using a lubricated, gloved finger inserted in the rectum. The rest of the mass usually can be removed with an enema (An injection of a liquid through the anus to stimulate evacuation; sometimes used for diagnostic purposes), or by using water irrigation through a sigmoidoscope (a flexible fiberoptic probe for examining the sigmoid colon). Once the impacted stool is removed, your doctor will have you follow a high-fiber diet and may recommend a stool-softening medication or laxative to promote regular bowel movements. Fecal Impaction can be treated manually by a doctor or physician. Medications can be used to prevent fecal impaction. In other cases, surgery may be the best option available to remove the fecal impaction. Other common ways to prevent fecal impaction are:
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Eating fiber food.
  • Avoid prolonged bed rest.
  • Exercise on a regular basis.
Other therapy - The treatment of fecal impaction is aimed at removing the fecal impaction and a full-cycle program to maintain normal bowel function. Often process involves a warm mineral oil enema is used to soften and help lubricate the fecal impaction. However, enemas are not enough to remove a large, hardened impaction. The mass may have to be manually broken up. A PCP will need to insert one or two fingers into the rectum and break up the mass into smaller pieces so that it can be removed. Manual removal of a fecal impaction is usually performed in small steps to reduce the risk of injuring the rectal tissues. NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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