Incomplete Bowel Movement

Incomplete bowel movement occurs when someone still feels the urge to defecate but nothing passes out. People suffering from incomplete defecation are constipated. But aside from this, incomplete bowel movement could also be a sign of an underlying health condition which requires thorough evaluation and proper treatment.

Treatment for incomplete bowel movement is aimed towards helping the patient empty his/her bowels completely. It is often addressed in the same way as constipation is treated. Should the condition still persist, the affected individual is advised to see the doctor. The doctor will then conduct a series of tests to find out if there are any digestive or motility disorders present.

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What does incomplete bowel movement mean?

The sensation that the bowel was not completely emptied may mean a lot of things. The condition could indicate that the individual is constipated. There are several reasons for constipation, ranging from unhealthy food choices to taking medications that cause or aggravate constipation. However, the feeling of incomplete defecation could also be due to a serious medical condition.

The sensation of incomplete defecation despite having an empty bowel is medically referred to as Tenesmus. Tenesmus could signal an underlying medical condition such as:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Motility disorder
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anorectal abscess
  • Cancer or rectal polyp
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Infectious colitis
  • Radiation proctitis

How does incomplete bowel movement feel?

Defecation is really difficult and straining among individuals who suffer from the condition. Moreover, the urge to defecate still lingers even after passing hard and dry stool. Trying to defecate further only yields little or no stool at all. The sensation of the need to move the bowel may linger for a couple of hours or even days.

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An affected individual should never delay visiting the doctor if the urge to defecate is accompanied by some unusual symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, abdominal pain and bloody stool as the condition could most likely be caused by a serious disease.

What does diagnosis of incomplete defecation involve?

Diagnosing the underlying cause of incomplete defecation involves comprehensive medical assessment through evaluation of the symptoms and medical history of the patient. The patient’s dietary habits as well as the family’s medical history will also be checked. The doctor may also conduct thorough abdominal and rectal examinations as well as laboratory tests like CBC, Electrolytes, abdominal X-ray or CT scan, stool cultures and colonoscopy.

How is incomplete bowel movement treated?

Treatment for the condition is designed based on the underlying cause. If it is a mere case of constipation, the treatment usually involves eating fiber-rich foods and increasing the fluid intake. Sufferers are also advised to exercise regularly and observe proper eating habits. The patient may also opt for herbal remedies to speed up recovery.

If improvement is not evident even after making drastic lifestyle and dietary changes and the diagnosis reveals an underlying health problem, the doctor will design a treatment regime based on the cause. He or she may recommend the appropriate medication along with pain relievers.

It is very important for the patient to take the necessary action upon experiencing incomplete bowel movement. The condition often improves with diet modification and regular exercise, provided that it is just a case of constipation. If the condition still persists, then appropriate action could be taken to treat the underlying disease.

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