Weird Medicine

Constipation Relief: Chinese Man Allegedly Doesn't Poop For 10 Years, Doctors Find 11 Pounds Of Poop In His Colon

Pooping
Doctors in China discovered 11 pounds of waste in a man who hadn't pooped for 10 years. Lindsey Turner CC BY 2.0

When was the last time you pooped? Though it’s not really a magic number and more of a range, it was hopefully within the past couple of days. If not, you’re probably constipated. Imagine now not relieving yourself for much longer. It can end up killing you, like this 16-year-old UK girl who didn’t poop for eight weeks. Or, you could end up like this man from Chengdu, China, who allegedly didn’t poop for 10(!) years and lived to tell the tale.

The as-yet unidentified man reportedly complained over the past decade of severe stomachaches and constipation, but doctors were unable to determine what exactly was wrong. Well, eventually one of them caught on and allegedly found that he had an 11-pound blockage of fecal matter in his colon. The mass was so big that it reportedly moved his heart to accommodate the massive load. The doctors diagnosed him with congenital megacolon, which is a pretty sweet death metal band name. Congenital megacolon, otherwise known as Hirschprung’s disease, is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a condition that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes problems with passing stool.” Symptoms include a swollen belly, constipation, and gas, while the cause may be a genetic mutation that affects the nerve cells of the colon.

The man from Chengdu reportedly had the 11-pound blockage surgically removed and is now in recovery.

It seems odd that someone would go 10 years without pooping, so if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation, here are some tips:

Eat More Fiber

This is probably the most important thing. Getting your daily intake of fiber — 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women — will get your bowels moving regularly and help you poop. 

Drink More Water

Since poop is 95 percent water, getting your required intake of H2O, as well as ensuring you're hydrated throughout the day, will make your poops a little easier.

Get More Exercise

Moving around vigorously, whether walking, running, jogging, rowing, lifting, anything, will shake up the matter in your intestines and colon and help your next #2 go smoothly.

If all of these things fail to move your bowels, and they shouldn’t, your next best bet would be to find some laxative or other stool softener to ensure you visit the porcelain throne soon. 

Constipation affects about 15 percent of the population, mainly women, those over the age of 65, and non-Caucasians. Everybody poops, so you shouldn’t be afraid to do it.

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