Constipation and overflow

My doctor is refusing to treat me and says it mental health based on my records although I have not been examined for years. My rectum is plugged up with faeces for 12 months with faecal impaction and I am in great pain and I cannot urinate and recently this liquid stool is pouring from my bottom. I am in a terrible mess. I am frightened and do not know what to do. Please help me. Regards Lynne Flint

16 January 2017

Thank you for contacting us, it’s clear you’ve been having a very difficult time. Although it’s not possible to suffer from full faecal impaction for 12 months -this would lead to an acute bowel obstruction necessitating hospital care within a few months -it certainly does sound as though you have been struggling with severe constipation for the past year. The liquid stool you describe is likely to be overflow, it is commonly seen in severe cases of constipation and is the stool in its liquid form ( prior to the liquid being re absorbed and stool then being able to become solid) bypasses any hard constipated stool that is present in the lower bowel and passes out of the body in this state. If you are experiencing overflow then it usually indicates a high level of constipation. Sometimes when the rectum is very full of constipated stool it can press on the pelvis and cause problems with urination such as you have been experiencing although this is less common. If your Dr has not performed a physical examination to rule out constipation you can always make an appointment at your surgery to see another Dr there. If there are no other Drs available you can attend at your nearest walk in centre where a Dr will be able to see you, they will take a history, examine you and be able to prescribe treatment. Given the nature of your symptoms including your difficulty in passing urine now it would be sensible to try to be seen within the next 1 to 2 days. You can find details of your nearest walk in centre they are also known as urgent care centres in some areas by going to the NHS choices website and entering your postcode, we are enclosing the link here:

Urgent care location search - NHS

Lastly, if you are taking any medications it might be useful for you to have chat with the Dr about them, many medications can cause constipation as a side effect and if necessary these can be either adjusted or changed if constipation is an issue or a laxative can be prescribed both to treat and to prevent this happening again.

There are also dietary changes that may help you to prevent constipation such as introducing more fibre into your diet, and also ensuring that you stay well hydrated , you can read more about constipation and it’s management here:

Constipation - NHS Factsheet

Good luck with this, and do get an appointment soon if possible, once you have been seen and treated.

We're sure you will feel much better very quickly,

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses

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