Obstipation – Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Constipation defines the laborious or irregular evacuation of excrement. Obstipation is the exposition of the same problem, constipation. However, obstipation refers to the severe degree of constipation leading to the complete loss of passing gas and feces.

What is Obstipation?

Implied as obstructive constipation, obstipation is the inability to open bowels and pass excrement. The health condition is the result of prolonged and severe constipation when the anal sphincter becomes too tight. Also, poor or weak pelvic floor muscle is the cause of this critical condition of constipation.

Due to an intrinsic pro-lapse, the obstructive defecation takes place. At this time, rectum goes inside and creates a complex blockage. If a person has had constipation for ages, this can problem can only turn into a complicated state if treatment is not undertaken.

Generally, the intestines find it difficult to vacate and its nature of function goes against the regular bowel movement. The problem can become a chronic illness and the side-effects can show negative health results persistently.

What do you Know about Normal Bowel Movement?

The regular bowel motion leads to stools that are brown in color. But the whole color process of your excrement is based on the foods that you consume. The number of taking dumps varied from person to person but it is normal to go thrice per day.

Usually, human beings on a large scale go once per day. It is also normal if you defecate thrice per week. The regular consistency of poop is generally formed softly.

What are the Causes of Obstipation?

The main source of chronic constipation is the obstruction in intestines. There are many cases that can lead to the health condition and hardened feces result in impaction of feces in the intestine. A partial obstruction can become full obstruction of air, water or food accumulates the remaining place.

As the obstructive constipation is the unsuccessful attempt to pass gas or feces, there is a high chance of passing water-like stool in the form of diarrhea. It occurs because the liquid stool has a high chance of averting the obstruction instead of a solid stool. Following are some of the causes of obstructive constipation stated below.


Due to the lump in abdominal organs, the wall cavity around the abdomen can become weak. It leads to obstruction because of the intestine being strangled.


This condition takes place due to the build up of scar tissues in the abdominal area. It is widely seen among the patients who have had undergone abdominal surgery recently. The scar is may create a mass or lump trapping other organs resulting in the chronic case of constipation.

Hirschsprung’s Disease

It is a congenital problem where one of the sections of the colon is dysfunctional. The problematic part of the colon does not relax or take part in contraction. Naturally, this problem contributes to the obstruction.


If there is growth in abdominal mass in the cavity, the sign of obstruction arises.


If the intestine takes the form of telescopes, it becomes difficult to pass the stool.


Twisted intestines result in ischemic issue and obstruction.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Several inflammatory diseases can be the reason behind fibrosis and hypertrophy of the walls of the intestine. It is a major cause of the blockage.


When the inflammation pouches are observed to be protruding from the external side of the colon, it may be the cause of tissue build up or scarring.

Many times it is found that a certain type of cancer like colorectal has nudged the obstipation issue. Opioid medicines like hydrocodone or morphine are the causing factors. If you take calcium channel blockers, diuretics, clonidine, iron supplements and antipsychotics, then you may face the problem of obstruction is defecating.

Risk Factors of Obstipation

If you are not consuming enough high fiber food products or not engaging yourself in physical activities, you may suffer from the consequences of the disease. Tumors, polyps or lumps also increase the risk.

People suffering from multiple sclerosis, diabetes or hypothyroidism are likely to face obstipation. Pregnancy is another risk factor of obstipation.

Symptoms of Obstructive Constipation

Generally, obstipation is not the full blockage of the intestine. There is a little region within the intestine which permits air and liquids to pass through. It might give rise to the passing of liquid stool and diarrhea.

Following are the common symptoms of obstipation,

When to See a Doctor?

It is general to pay a visit to a healthcare professional when you have not passed stools in days. The stomach discomfort may be another reason to see a doctor. However, take a note of the following situations to seek medical help immediately,

  • Abdominal distension
  • Vomiting
  • Critical abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Black or bloody bowel movement

Know about the Diagnosis

At first the healthcare professional checks medical history; in the meantime, let him know whether you are taking any medication. The doctor may want to know whether you have been taking suppositories, enema or laxatives for easing up the bowel movement. Assessing the condition of the patient, the healthcare provider suggests a thorough examination of rectum or rectum.

  • Blood test
  • A barium enema
  • Colonoscopy
  • Bowel function test
  • CT scan or x-ray

Treatment for Obstructive Constipation

The severity of the diseases indicates the right treatment approach to be undertaken. The doctors generally advise increasing the fluids intake or suggest taking docusate sodium which is a stool softener.


A laxative can also stimulate the bowel movement but you have to take it for a short period. The medicine is not advised for a long duration because one may develop a dependency on the medicine.

Removing Manually

Manual removal is suggested to remove the blocked bowel movement. At this time, the healthcare professional gets rid of the fecal impaction with his or her own gloved hands. During this time, the lubricant is used to make the removal procedure easier.


Enema is provided for clearing the bowel issue from the rectum. It is put into the rectum through a person’s anus.

Surgical Procedure

Surgery is required on only rare cases for removing the impaction or repairing damage occurred because of the obstructive health condition.

Get Rid of Obstipation at Home

Bowel movement plays a huge role in keeping up the regular functions of the body and it is highly necessary to control it. Due to the hectic schedule of life, it is highly difficult to manage the bowel movement. With proper diet and exercises, one can rid the problem of obstipation.

Healthcare professionals may advise medication which softens the stool for passing smoothly. It is better not self-medicate with drugs. Healthy and balanced diet is another way to dodge the risk o severe constipation along with drinking of adequate water (1.5-2 liters).

Pelvic Floor Exercise

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles extending from the tail to public bone. This creates a platform between the legs and it supports bowel and bladder. With the help of the pelvic floor, one can control passing urine and opening bowels. The stronger pelvic floor, the better the muscles can prevent leakage from the bowels.

Finding Pelvic Floor Muscles

Take a comfortable position and keep the knees apart. Focus on the muscles for stopping yourself to urinate and passing wind at back. During this time, try not to do following things,

  • Holding breath
  • Bringing knees closer
  • Squeeizng buttcoks
  • Lifting eyebrows or shoulder upwards

Your pelvic muscles do not become tight enough when you are doing these things. Women have to put two fingers inside the vagina. As you perform the workout, you will realize the muscles to tighten around the fingers.

Men have to place their fingers at the back of the scrotum and while doing the workout, tightening of the muscles will be felt. The scrotum is likely to lift a bit and the base of the penis must move in the direction of the abdomen.

Fast Twitch Exercise

At first you have to tighten the pelvic muscles and then hold 1-second. Relax and then again repeat the same movement five times till you feel the muscles becoming hard.

Slow Twitch Exercise

Tighten and then draw the muscles around the back passage. This move should be similar to blocking the passing of wind. Now you have to ensure that the buttock muscles do not remain tensed while you are doing this.

Then again tighten and draw the muscles at the forefront. Now this move should be similar to holding the flow of urine. Now remain the same for 10 seconds while keeping the breathing pattern normal.

Let go of the movement and relax. Repeating for five times will show you the effective result.

If you can do 5 fast twitch and 5 slow twitch exercises per day, your pelvic muscle floor will become strong and effective. The muscles become tired and it takes a lot of concentration to initiate the workout in the first place. As it is tough to hold for ten seconds, you may only try holding it as long as you can.

Another way to strengthen the pelvic muscles is to opt for Pilates which increases strength along with flexibility. You can also buy pelvic stimulator machines for improving the flexibility.

Brace and Pump Technique

The technique is designed to open the bowels in an effective way and ease up the situation about obstipation. In order to begin with bracing, you need to propel the waist muscles for opening the bowels. Now put your hands on the side of the waist and cough.

As amusing as it sounds, you now can feel the muscles to be working. Through these muscles, you can execute the brace and pump technique. Now for achieving normal bowel movement, go through the following steps.

  • Taking the Right Position on Toilet – At first, lean with forearms while resting the feet and thighs on a small-sized block. It is the pivotal part of the workout and you need to be in the right position for vacating the bowel. Lower the shoulders to stay relaxed and calm.
  • Breathe Slowly – Staying calm and relaxed is also important. Let go of stress and relax the muscles.
  • Try Opening Bowel – Without holding your breath, propel the back passage to the ground and take it as far as it goes. Calm down and do not raise it. Gradually, brace waist downwards and back without straining the muscles.

While opening the bowels, you need to relax slightly and then keep up the pressure of bracing without pushing hard. Again brace and push outwards and downwards and take 1-second break. If you can do it for 10 minutes, you will realize the bowels to open.

However, there is no point of worrying if the bowels do not open. Continue doing it every day or when you get the urge of opening bowels. The pattern may differ from person to person.

Prevention of Obstipation

  • Adding high-fiber foods in the daily diet can pass the stool easily. Whole grains, beans, fresh vegetables and raw fruits are a few high fiber foods. For an adult, it is advisable to take 20 grams of high fiber foods per day.
  • Working out on a regular basis is highly important if you want to normalize the bowel movements.
  • Do not ignore the urge and do try to help your body maintain a regular bowel movement. It is good to choose the morning after having breakfast.

As the name suggests, it is a serious condition of constipation. When the stool does not go outside of your body, your health condition starts to deteriorate. Bowel rupture or perforation is the result of the health problem.

Due to the risky condition as the content of the bowel empties into the cavity of the abdomen. Bowel perforation is a critical infection also familiar as peritonitis. As the potential risk goes on the verge of showing life-threatening issues, the symptoms must never be avoided

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