For many people, constipation simply means no bowel movement, straining at hard stools, or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement.

Extreme constipation (also known as chronic constipation), however, is usually associated with a large mass of stool causing the abdomen to bulge outward and interfere with both digestion and urination. Chronic constipation may begin insidiously and persist for months or years. Bowel movements are likely to be infrequent as well.

Examples of Extreme, Chronic Constipation

Chagas Disease is also known as the parasite infection called trypanosomiasis. Trypanosome is the only human parasite to be transmitted by the feces of these blood suckers, as opposed to other parasites transmitted by saliva. A person in the acute phase of the disease may have very mild symptoms: swelling and reddening at the site where the blood-sucking insect caused the initial infection. This may be followed by the swelling of one eye and/or of the ankles. Lymph nodes that drain the area of the insect bite may also become enlarged. As the parasite spreads from the bite site, the patient develops fever and malaise. The liver and spleen then become distended. The patient may get a racing pulse when he goes to the bathroom, and passing stool may cause him to faint.

The disease goes into remission after the acute phase and may become chronic with no further symptoms for many years. When symptoms finally develop, they appear as heart disease and/or digestive abnormalities.

Toxic Megacolon is a life-threatening complication characterized by an abnormal dilatation of the colon that is not caused by mechanical obstruction. The colon swells to many times its normal size. The dilatation is often accompanied by a paralysis of the peristaltic movements of the bowel, resulting in chronic constipation. In more extreme cases, the feces consolidate into hard masses inside the colon, called fecalomas (literally, fecal tumor), which require surgery to be removed.

Toxic Megacolon is an emergency situation requiring immediate surgical treatment. Early treatment is important in toxic megacolon to avoid life-threatening complications such as shock, tears in the colon wall, and infection in both the abdomen and the blood. Left untreated, the colon may rupture, a condition that is fatal in 30% of cases.

Hirschspring’s Disease is a congenital disease evident from birth. Infants with Hirschsprung’s Disease lack the nerve cells that enable intestinal muscles to move stool through the colon. Stool becomes trapped in the colon, filling the colon and causing it to expand to larger than normal. The disease may also be hereditary, which means a parent can pass it to a child. Hirschsprung’s Disease affects mainly infants and children.

In infants, the primary symptom is not passing meconium, an infant’s first bowel movement, within the first 24 to 48 hours of life. Other symptoms include constipation, abdominal swelling, and vomiting. Symptoms in older children include passing small watery stools, diarrhea, and a lack of appetite.

These examples of extreme constipation can be best prevented and treated with a combination of adequate exercise, a high-fiber diet, an adequate intake of fluids, and regular colon-cleansing treatments.

Constipation Can Harm You

Chronic constipation is the term used to define infrequent, difficult passages of stool.The fecal matter is so tightly packed together that bowel movements are incomplete, difficult, strained, and producing dry, hardened feces.Extreme constipation is a symptom of a toxic colon, the accumulation of old feces sticking to the walls of the colon, inhibiting its ability to absorb nutrients.Symptoms of a toxic colon can be headaches, indigestion, flatulence, aches and pains, foul breath, skin problems, poor digestion, and that tired old feeling.

Constipation is a “Pain in the Rear”

Constipation by itself is miserable; sufferers sit on the toilet straining for half an hour and pass black, hard pebbles. They feel bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish, no wonder, this condition is the main symptom of a painfully sluggish, under-active colon. Consequently, toxic wastes are more likely to be absorbed through the bowel wall and into the bloodstream. The blood then circulates these toxins to every part of the body and deposits some of them in tissues. As toxins accumulate in the tissues, normal cell functioning deteriorates, especially in the tissues where the toxins have settled.

Constipation can also contribute to the lowering of your body’s resistance to disease, predisposing it to many acute illnesses and degenerative processes. A sufferer experiences chronic dehydration from not drinking enough water; the mucous lining in the colon becomes thicker, changes in consistency, and fails to provide a slick lubrication for the movement of feces.

Thus, the hard packed feces lining the walls of a constipated colon accumulate and eventually lodge in the pockets of the wall. This hardened matter obstructs the muscular contractions (or peristaltic waves), builds up more feces, and inhibits proper evacuation. This build-up may take many months or years and can result in 5-15 pounds of added weight, causing the colon to become distended, abnormally shaped and ineffective. The distorted clogged colon then interferes with the body’s final absorption and digestion of food; this same body then becomes deprived of nutrients. Also, the undigested food ferments, putrefies, and creates abnormal gas and poisons which, when re-absorbed into the system, can provide the ripe breeding ground for parasitic growth and other diseases.

These examples of extreme constipation can be best prevented and treated with a combination of adequate exercise, a high-fiber diet, an adequate intake of fluids, and regular colon-cleansing treatments.


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