involuntary anus contractions
William S Asks:
I'm 19. I have IBS, although I'm not sure if it matters in my situation.
For most of my life, when I get stressed or I go for runs or work out (in other words, when adrenaline gets in my system), I feel like pushing out... nothing. It is so incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes it feels like I want to push out my rectum itself! It isn't painful, but I'm constantly wanting to stop what I'm doing and push out the weird feeling I have. It really does cause problems with my life if I want to work out and such. It feels like something is there, but I just don't know what. "Involuntary anus contractions" is the only way I can think to describe it, induced by adrenaline.
I'm not sure what it is and I'm really embarrassed about it, so I don't know who to go to. If I need to see a doctor, I will; I just want to know my options.
Dear William S,
I am just now realizing how important it is for doctors to get a good history on a patient in order to make a correct diagnosis. Left as it is, I don't have enough information from you to make an informed decision as to what I think is going on with your ass, so I will just just take some blind guesses, if that's alright. I'm sure you won't mind, since, after all, I am NOT a doctor anyway. So, here goes.
One possibility is that you could be experiencing the beginnings of a prolapsed rectum. The early symptoms of this condition include the feeling of having full bowels and an urgent need to have a bowel movement and the feeling of not being able to empty the bowels completely.
I doubt that is the case with you though since you are a nineteen year old male because according to the folks at eMedicneHealth, "rectal prolapse is an uncommon disease and primarily affects elderly people. The disease is rare among children. Affected children are usually younger than 3 years. Men develop rectal prolapse much less frequently than women do (80-90%). In the United States, 0.42% of the overall population have rectal prolapse. In people older than 65 years, the prevalence is 1%."
Another possibility is that you could have polyps or other mass inside your rectum that gives you the sensation of needing to push out a bowel movement when none is really there. This could be life-threatening, since cancer is always a possibility when masses in the rectum/colon are an issue.
Again, not knowing your complete history makes it impossible to rule out something like a childhood traumatic event--such as severe constipation--causing you to react to pooping with an adrenaline rush that may now be linked in your brain to feeling the pushing sensation. Hard to say. You very well could be having a Pavlovian response associating the release of adrenaline in your body with the need to immediately rid your body of something causing it discomfort, even if there is really nothing there.
I first recommend that you see a regular doctor. They will be able to determine after a proper history and physical whether or not there is a problem, and if so, what needs to happen from there. The general practitioner may be able to fix you right up, or may refer you to a specialist, whether it be a gastroenterologist or psychiatrist. Good luck to you!
Thanks for asking Motherload!
Motherload is a 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.