Fecal impaction is a severe form of constipation in which a large mass of stool cannot be passed.
What is going on in the body?
This condition most commonly occurs in the older people, although it can occur at any age. Usually, the person has severe constipation for several days before they develop symptoms. Some of the stool may become quite hard and block the intestines, so that other stool cannot be pushed out. Most often, the blockage occurs close to the anus.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Fecal impaction occurs in elderly or bedridden persons who are constipated over a long period of time. Rectal disorders such as painful hemorrhoids can also cause fecal impaction. Individuals who use laxatives too often may develop impaction when they stop taking laxatives. A person whose diet doesn't include enough fiber and fluid is at risk for fecal impaction.