does constipation really hurt you?

// // 34 Comments
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Sharlene Asks:

I have what is called colonic inertia or lack of motility of my colon. I also have the worst spastic colon, aka IBS. Now, without daily laxatives I just simply can't go for days. Even with laxatives, it might be only three times a week. My big questions is this: do you know of any actual evidence to support that backed-up stool is actually harming my body or my organs? I have yet to actually find anything leading me to believe in actual harm. I know it can be uncomfortable and make me grouchy, but is it harming my body?


Dear Sharlene,

You may have this all backwards. You think that not shitting more than 3 times a week is making you uncomfortable and grouchy. Maybe the real problem is that you are not shitting more BECAUSE you are grouchy.

Get out and do some things that make you happy. Have fun. Smile. Laugh. Feel good about yourself and quit dwelling on shit.

Not everyone shits every day. Everyone's "normal" is different. You could just be one of those that only have to go 3 times a week. Imaginary constipation is very common among people with slow digestive systems.

Unless you are experiencing difficulty with evacuation, or impactions, you should just relax and go when you feel the need, instead of trying to force a BM with the use of laxatives. Laxative abuse will do more harm to your body than your own poop hanging around for a few days.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which means she knows a lot about poop. Got a question for her? Ask it here.

34 Comments on "does constipation really hurt you?"

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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I sometimes don't shit for up to three or five days. There is nothing wrong with me, I just don't have to shit. As Motherload says, this idea that you need to shit every day is crap. (Ha ha!) I think it is perpetuated by the drug companies, who want you to buy more medicine so you can fit into their impossible standards.

_______
"That was a very disappointing party. I showed up and everyone left!"- Camille

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Rectal Badger's picture
l 100+ points
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My sister often does not shit for about four days on average. My doctor said there is nothing wrong with her and that she just has a "slow gut."

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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I would suggest to all that want to know about the troubles of either holding it in or the constipation that occur because of it to buy a copy of the Journal of Ass Production 2. Motherload wrote a nice article about how bad it is for you to not shit and what happens to your body.


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

snarf's picture
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My girlfriend only poops once or twice a week. Afterwards she usually dances around lighter and happier because her stomach is flat again. She eats way too much rice I think.

Conversly, I poop 1-3 times a day on a normal day. Sometimes up to 5-14 times when I'm having a bad day with my ulcerative colitis. Sometimes I get a break and don't poop for 1 or 2 days. I love those poop free holidays.

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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The colonic irrigation crowd would tell you that your poop is toxifying you, by hanging out for too long. I'm not buying it, but that's what they say.
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bowlfiller's picture
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Well I think the main factor here would be your diet. Certain foods, especially red meat can block you up for days.

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points
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Hello Sharlene. I am also part of the IBS-C crowd. Yes, I do belive that if poop stays in your body long enough, it can cause harm, but it is a long process.

What you have to ask yourself is, what is your normal BM routine. Missing the occasional day or so (key word is occasional) will not hurt you. Also, if you are not poopong everyday and have the so called "rabbit pellet poop". then you are no doubt constipated. If you are not pooping everyday and have normal BM's (without a laxative), then you may have nothing more than a slow gut.

Read my story titled "My Irratable Bowels". Also, how long have you been like this?

There is a product called Digestrol, that targets IBS symptoms. I have had a great reduction in my IBS symptoms while I have been taking this product. Lastly, a colon cleanse would not hurt either. Dr. Natura has a fine colon cleansing product. Just go to the Dr. Natura website.
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Born to clog your bog, with a giant log.

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Anonymous Coward's picture
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I guess I should really count my blessings that I shit once a day. If nothing else, PR has enlightened me to the number of people who from over or underactive bowels. My sympathy to all who are thus afflicted.

DungDaddy's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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My wife goes a do or two without shitting. It may be more of a female things.

DungDaddy's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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Day or two...

The Juggernaut's picture
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when i was young, i wouldn't shit for days.
sometimes a week would go by with out a turd, i never felt bad due to not having to shit, and i was active bike riding and playing outdoors.

later on, i began shitting more normally once a day etc.

now being middle age, i'm shitting more then what i think is normal, 2 or 3 times a day and i fill the bowl everytime, with long snakes.

i sudder to think what will happen in another 10-20 years :(, 'depends'

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points
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DD, I sometime have poop free days. My best guess is that everybody's bowel has a different rythm. The general rule for normal bowel function is three Bm's a day, to three a week, with no major canges in bowel habits.
_______
Born to clog your bog, with a giant log.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

Double Flush's picture
k 500+ points
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It's not a big deal if you don't poop for a few days, and it's not going to harm you. Your body is designed to handle that. If it goes for, say, a week and a half, then there is a problem, but a few days is fine.

I go every day, twice on most days, though it ranges from one to three. Because of that, I tend to worry if I miss 3 days, but things usually get moving again with no ill effects.

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I'm so good at clogging up toilets, I can make mine back up when there's nothing in it.

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healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points
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Great point DF. Alot of people though, beilive that the sky will fall if they don't shit everyday. Many thime this can get blown out of proportion, and the person will take a laxative just because they missed a day.
_______
Born to clog your bog, with a giant log.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

shitwit's picture
k 500+ points
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One of the best ways to shake a turd out is to log onto Poop Report and read a bunch of poop stories! I'm serious! Just reading about the brown beast will summon it up from deep within, and before you know it, it's ready for delivery~


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daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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Another way is to have some bed-shaking sex. Nothing clears those pipes out like some horizontal exercise.

And snarf, does you girlfriend like brown rice? It's fiber count is amazing. Maybe she could eat some brown or wild rice twice a week or so to move the poop.

_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

snarf's picture
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daphne, thanks for the tip. I will let her know. She does get uncomfortable not going for awhile.

Scooby-Doo's picture
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Everyone should have a bowel movement at least daily. Drink plenty of water, more fiber, and exercise. Cut out all the white breads and pasta. Coffee and alcohol will dehydrate you. Match water intake one for one with coffee and alcohol consumption. Use olive oil when cooking or mix in with a glass of water and lemon juice. Your body will start discarding built up poop and you will feel much better! Colon cleanse is also a good thing to do. I tried Dr Natura, powerful stuff. Gave a month supply to my mom who is 65 and has stomach problems. Her doctor looked at the contents and said it is not harmful. Their web site is fun to read also. Why would anyone want to walk around with excess shit in his or her system? Western diet and exercise routines are the culprits, we have more diet related health issues than anywhere in the world. We eat more processed foods, it all goes hand in hand.

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points
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Yes Scoob' I love cooking in olive oil. I also garnish some foods with olive oil.

White bread is a big culprit in bowel problems. There is an old saying in the alternative medical community, "Death begins in the colon". I believe this is absolutley true.

I am doing prety good with my diet. I eat more of an Oriental type diet. I have found that the key to good bowel health is keeping an alkaline diet. Normal ph of a healthy person is about 7.35, anything below ph 7 is bad.
_______
It's not nice to fool mother nature.

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Irregardless of eastern vs western philosophies on life, death, and shit, everybody still dies. Rather than length of life I would think we ought to concern ourselves with the quality aspect of the life we live. Choose to focus on others rather than on self. All the egocentric concern that is engendered in the colonic cleansing crowd probably does as much damage as the poop in your bowels. There. I said it, I meant it, and I'm getting down off my soap box.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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"Does constipation really hurt you?" Only when the diameter of the loaf exceeds design capacity of the O ring.

Scooby-Doo's picture
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Anonymous Coward- "I would think we ought to concern ourselves with the quality aspect of the life we live."
If you think walking around with 20lbs of shit festering in your body contributes to great quality of life- that speaks for itself.
The original question was from someone who probably does not share your "quality of life" views, that's why she is taking laxatives everyday.

dipity doo's picture
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i am thinking about doing a colon cleanser a friend told me it cleans you out my question is this ,does your ass hurt when all those ugly stringing things come out ? ....

Sharon's picture
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ok...what if I go for almost two weeks without pooping? I have had this issue on and off ever since I had my son 15 years ago. I drink mostly water and rarely eat red meat. I get so upset and very irritated because i can't seem to get this resolved and I have tried everything the doctors have recommended. :(

MissingInAction's picture
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WHAAAT.
If you think you're not pooping is making you an angry person why don't you just drink some Smooth Move laxative tea? It's organic. =) Also,... didn't a little tea spoon of olive oil help? I'm not sure about that one. It's just what i heard.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Sharon, you've probably tried most of these, but here is my list: whole grain or bran cereals; celery and fibrous vegetables; whole wheat bread; exercise--as much as you have time for and your body will tolerate; lots of water (already on your list); milk (some people find it stimulates the bowels, others find it stops them up); and yes, try a little meat. But exercise is a key. Another: Have a time every day to sit on the pot, maybe to read the paper or a magazine. It may stimulate a poop, it may not; but if you're not there, it probably won't.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Sharon.......Don't trust your memory of the food and liquid you take in. Keep a food journal for a few weeks. Make an entry every time you eat or drink anything. If you eat half a soda cracker, write it down. If you sip one ounce of liquid, record it.

There are several good sites that give detailed information on nutritional content of various foods. My favorite site is:
(www.elook.org/nutrition) this site has the most varied listing of any I have found yet. This is great for me because I eat many Asian vegetables that are not included on most charts.

Write down the total amount of fiber in everything you consume, make sure you record EVERYTHING. Keep track of your total intake of liquids in the same way. Record every ounce. You may be surprised.

_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Small and Solid's picture
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I must admit I am an anal person who freaks out if I don't have a shit first thing in the morning. A coffee helps shift me and cigarettes used to but now I don't need to smoke.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I have been having problems now for as long as I can remember and I have tried nearly all of the suggestions, except writing down exactly what I eat and drink. I will have to give it a go as it maybe what I need to prove me wrong. Thanks Chief Thunder Butt
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SHES GONNA BLOW EVACUATE THE HOLE

Cheeky's picture
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As one who has IBS-C, I can tell you what works for me.

Drink more fluids than the recommended half your body weight in ounces.

Make sure you are taking in enough magnesium and potassium (cashews and potatoes are good for that).

I eat two servings of cream of wheat a day with dark chocolate chips and 2% milk (farina, wheat germ, anti-oxidants in the dark chocolate and milk help me).

I may miss only one day a month now of not going but it is not a big deal to me. I found out that not stressing over one skipped day makes you not focus on how your innards feel and you feel better.

Hope this helps!

262 days laxative free!

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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Cheeky...Something you might try instead of cream of wheat is porridge made from cracked wheat berries. Just pulse the wheat in your blender a few times before cooking and you will have a cereal product that not only tastes good but is very healthful.


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

sittingpretty's picture
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Where would one find cracked wheat berries? I haven't seen them at Whole Food's.
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...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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sp.....Get whole wheat berries and pulse them a few times in your blender, voila, cracked wheat berries.


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points
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I was getting constipated for weeks at a time but I found that having lots of fiber filled fruit and veggies everyday plus walking everyday has really helped things. Where as before I was going maybe once a week now I go every single day. I also used Magnesium Citrate to do a cleanse before I started all this diet and exercise.
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Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.