When an individual suffers from long-term constipation, the resulting factor can be fecal impaction. Fetal impaction begins with a blocked colon. The colon becomes blocked because a mass of stool is not able to be moved by the colon’s contractions.
When the bowel becomes blocked, the individual may show signs of severe abdominal pain and vomiting. If the stool cannot be cleared with OTC (over-the-counter) products, the impaction may require emergency treatment or hospitalization.
Aging adults may commonly suffer from fecal impaction. This fairly common complication of long-term constipation may be a result of those bedridden; reportedly about 30% of residents in nursing homes suffer from fecal impaction according to drugs.com.
Some of the symptoms of constipation that a caregiver needs to look out for include:
- Fewer than three bowel movements per week
- Small, hard, dry stools that are difficult or painful to pass
- The need to strain excessively to have a bowel movement
- A feeling that your rectum is not empty after a bowel movement
- Frequent use of enemas, laxatives or suppositories
Some symptoms of fecal impaction for caregivers to look out for include:
- Liquid stool (the stool is leaking around the impacted mass of feces and can be mistaken for diarrhea)
- Abdominal pain, especially after meals
- A persistent urge to move the bowels
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor appetite, weight loss
- Malaise (a generally sick feeling)
- If the problem is not treated, dehydration, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, fever, agitation, confusion and urinary incontinence
Now that you know the symptoms, you can prove once again that With Age Comes Respect.