Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
What’s the longest time that somebody has been constipated? © Getty Images

What’s the longest time that somebody has been constipated?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Next time you’re reaching for the laxatives spare a thought for those with extreme constipation which can cause serious medical damage.

Asked by: Patrick Rose, via email

Advertisement

In 2013, a 28-year-old woman from Chembur, India, had to have surgery to remove a “football-sized faecal mass” after 45 days without a bowel movement. It’s not known what caused it, but other cases of extreme constipation have been linked to spinal cord damage or rare medical conditions, which affect the nerves controlling the muscles of the intestine. Sufferers cannot poo normally and must rely on enemas and laxatives.

Read more:


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content