to Do for Impacted Stool
By Dr. Ben
a comfortable topic to discuss, but it's good to have some idea of
what to try if you or a loved one ever experiences hardened stool
that won't come out on its own.
it's vital to remember that whenever you have the urge to have a bowel
movement, it's best that you relax rather than try to force stool
out with exertion.
relaxation is necessary for optimal function of your internal anal
sphincter muscle, which is a ring of smooth muscle that helps keep
your anal sphincter closed when you're not having a bowel movement,
and also helps push stools out during defecation. Your internal anal
sphincter muscle is entirely involuntary, meaning that it works without
your conscious input. By consciously straining to eliminate stools,
you can actually disrupt the natural activity of your internal anal
is not to say that you shouldn't strain at all when having a bowel
movement. Surrounding your internal anal sphincter muscle is your
external anal sphincter muscle, which is under voluntary
control; when you bear down, this is the muscle that you are using
to generate momentum for defecation. When stools are healthy, you
don't need to generate momentum for a bowel movement by contracting
your external anal sphincter muscle, but when stools are harder than
they should be, it can be helpful to consciously contract your external
anal sphincter muscle to get things moving. The key is to stop consciously
contracting and to relax once stools begin to pass, as this allows
your internal anal sphincter muscle to contribute to expulsion of
all of that said, if hardened stool is stuck as it is exiting your
anal sphincter, it can be helpful to apply a natural lubricant around
your sphincter. It isn't a glamorous thing to do, but over the years,
I've actually had a handful of parents successfully use this technique
to help their young children pass hard stools that were firmly wedged
wearing a disposable glove, beyond lubricating the anal sphincter
with a natural lubricant like coconut oil, it might also be necessary
to use a finger to manually remove bits of stool. By generously lubricating
before you do this, you can reduce risk of creating an anal fissure.
is one of a few reasons why I think it's a good idea to keep a box
of disposable exam gloves around. The kind that I keep in my office
can be found here:
Nitrile Exam Gloves, Non Latex, Powder Free
when I ran our residential fasting program, I would sometimes have
to manually disimpact people who were severely constipated, as extended
water-only fasting can lead to even further hardening of stools, so
it's always best to try to have a solid bowel movement before embarking
on a long water-only fast. Most of the people that I had to do this
for were sufferers of chronic constipation, and usually had weakened
smooth muscle tone for a variety of reasons.
intake of highly processed and refined foods - typically those made
with flour and sugar - is arguably the most common cause of chronic
straining to try to force hardened stool out invariably leads to weakened
smooth muscle tone in the lower colon.
to regular use of enemas is often the final step that leads to significant
loss of smooth muscle tone in the anal, rectal, and lower large intestinal
news is that I have seen people who were completely dependent on enemas
to have bowel movements restore full motility. This kind of reversal
doesn't typically happen within a few days; it takes weeks, months,
or sometimes even years of allowing the smooth muscles that line your
colon to recover optimal tone, which requires improvement within your
enteric nervous system, a portion of the autonomic nervous system
that regulates your bowel movements.
suggestions on how to have healthy bowel movements and a healthy colon,
be sure to review the following articles:
to Have Healthy Bowel Movements
Enemas Good for Your Health?
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