Poop And Fart Blockage: What To Do?


Experiencing difficulty in passing gas or stool can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but it is a common issue that many people face. This condition, known as constipation, can be caused by various factors such as dietary habits, certain medications, or underlying health conditions. While it is a natural bodily process to pass gas, an inability to do so may indicate a more serious health concern. For instance, in rare cases, persistent bloating that does not subside could be a sign of ovarian cancer. Therefore, it is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing discomfort or changes in your bowel habits.

Characteristics Values
Passing gas Occasional burping or belching is normal. Passing gas is a normal way of releasing gas from digestion.
Inability to pass gas May be a symptom of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Constipation Infrequent bowel movements, hard, lumpy stools, a feeling of incomplete bowel movement, or bloating.
Diarrhea Watery stool or stool with no consistency, increased volume, or persistent diarrhea.
Abdominal pain May be caused by trapped gas, constipation, or diarrhea.
Bloating May be caused by constipation, trapped gas, or lactose intolerance.
Nausea May be caused by trapped gas or constipation.
Weight loss May be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or a warning sign of a more serious health issue.


Constipation, which can be caused by not eating enough fibre, drinking enough water, or moving around enough

Constipation is a common health issue that affects up to 20% of people every year. It is characterised by infrequent bowel movements (less than three per week) and hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. It can also cause feelings of abdominal discomfort and bloating.

There are several factors that can contribute to constipation, including dietary and lifestyle choices. One of the most common causes is a low-fibre diet. Fibre is essential for keeping the digestive system healthy, as it increases stool size and softness, making them easier to pass. The recommended daily fibre intake is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. However, most people consume only half of this amount. To increase your fibre intake, include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans in your diet.

In addition to a low-fibre diet, not drinking enough water can also lead to constipation. Water helps to soften stools and makes them easier to pass. It is important to stay hydrated, especially when consuming a high-fibre diet, as water helps the body process fibre properly. While previous guidelines recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, it is now suggested to listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty. If you are experiencing constipation, try increasing your water intake to see if it helps.

Lack of physical activity is another factor that can contribute to constipation. Activity helps move food through the gastrointestinal system faster. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or dancing, every day. If that is too much, start with a few minutes of daily activity and gradually increase the duration.

If you are experiencing constipation, it is important to make dietary and lifestyle changes, such as increasing your fibre and water intake, and becoming more physically active. Over-the-counter laxatives can also provide temporary relief, but they should be used sparingly and only under the guidance of a healthcare provider. If constipation persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as rectal bleeding, constant stomach pain, or unintentional weight loss, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment options.

Stopping Laxatives: A Safe Detox Guide

You may want to see also


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a gastrointestinal disorder that can cause persistent gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the intestines and can cause uncomfortable or painful abdominal symptoms. It is a common condition, estimated to affect around 10% to 15% of adults in the United States, with a higher prevalence among those assigned female at birth (who are up to twice as likely to be diagnosed with IBS). IBS does not damage the digestive tract or increase the risk of colon cancer.


IBS is characterised by a range of symptoms, including abdominal pain and cramps, excess gas and bloating, mucus in the stool, and a feeling of being unable to empty the bowels fully. The most distinctive feature of IBS is a change in bowel habits, with some people experiencing constipation (hard and lumpy stools), others experiencing diarrhoea (loose and watery stools), and some alternating between the two.


The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it is classified as a neurogastrointestinal disorder, indicating problems with the coordination between the gut and the brain. This can lead to dysmotility, or issues with the contraction of GI muscles and the movement of food through the GI tract, as well as visceral hypersensitivity, where the nerves in the GI tract are extra sensitive.

Other potential causes and risk factors for IBS include:

  • Gut bacteria: People with IBS may have altered bacteria in their GI tract, with different types and amounts of gut bacteria compared to those without the condition.
  • Severe infections: Some people develop IBS after a severe infection in their GI tract, suggesting a possible role for germs.
  • Food intolerance: Sensitivities or allergies to certain foods, particularly gluten and dairy, may contribute to IBS.
  • Childhood stress: IBS is more common among individuals who experienced severe stressors during childhood, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
  • Other risk factors: Intolerance to certain foods, severe digestive tract infection, and diagnoses of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Diagnosing IBS can be challenging due to its similarity to other conditions. A detailed medical history is the first step, followed by ensuring the patient is up to date on their colon cancer screening and checking for symptoms that suggest other disorders. There is no single test for IBS, but a combination of blood tests, stool tests, breath tests, and imaging procedures can help rule out other conditions and confirm an IBS diagnosis.


While there is no cure for IBS, symptoms can be managed through a combination of medication, diet, and lifestyle changes. Dietary recommendations include increasing fibre intake, limiting dairy and gluten, trying a low-FODMAP diet, and drinking plenty of water. Lifestyle changes may include regular exercise, relaxation techniques, and getting sufficient sleep. Medications can also be prescribed to ease constipation, firm stools, or address intestinal spasms and abdominal pain.

Dulcolax: How Long Does It Stay Active?

You may want to see also


Food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, can lead to gas, belly pain, bloating, and diarrhoea

Lactose intolerance is a common food intolerance, affecting up to 70% of people worldwide. It is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for breaking down lactose for digestion. Lactose is a type of sugar found in the milk of most mammals. While lactose intolerance is less common among people of European and northwestern Indian descent, it is more prevalent in those of African, Asian, Hispanic, and American Indian descent.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance include stomach pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhoea. These symptoms typically occur within 30 minutes to two hours after consuming lactose-containing foods or drinks. The amount of bloating and pain experienced is not related to the amount of lactose ingested but rather to the individual's sensitivity to feelings of distention. Therefore, the frequency and severity of symptoms can vary significantly between individuals.

People with lactose intolerance can manage their condition by reducing or eliminating high-lactose foods from their diet, such as milk, soft and processed cheeses, cream, and ice cream. However, most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to one cup of milk (240 ml) per day, especially when spread throughout the day. Fermented milk products like yogurt and certain cheeses are also better tolerated by lactose-intolerant individuals. Additionally, lactase enzymes can be purchased from drugstores and taken before consuming dairy products to aid in digestion.

Other types of food intolerances include histamine intolerance and gluten sensitivity. Histamine intolerance is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme diamine oxidase, which is needed to break down histamines found in foods like cheese, pineapples, bananas, avocados, chocolate, and wine. Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, is characterized by the body's difficulty in digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is important to note that gluten sensitivity is different from celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which gluten damages the small intestines.

Food intolerances can be diagnosed through various methods, such as hydrogen breath tests, food diaries, and elimination diets. A hydrogen breath test is commonly used to detect lactose intolerance, while an elimination diet involves removing certain foods from the diet for a period and observing if symptoms subside. Consulting a healthcare provider is recommended to determine the appropriate diagnostic method and develop a suitable management plan for food intolerances.

Mustard: Nature's Laxative?

You may want to see also


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can be caused by obesity, smoking, or certain medications, and can result in excessive belching

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common clinical problem, affecting millions of people worldwide. It is estimated that GERD affects 18.1%–27.8% of people in North America, and around 20% of adults and 10% of children in the U.S. alone. The condition is characterised by acid reflux, where acid from the stomach flows backward into the oesophagus and throat, causing a burning sensation in the chest. While occasional acid reflux is normal and manageable at home, chronic acid reflux (occurring at least twice a week for several weeks) can indicate GERD and may require treatment.

GERD can be caused by several factors, including obesity, smoking, certain medications, and birth defects. Obesity increases abdominal pressure, affecting the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) in a similar way to pregnancy. Smoking relaxes the LES and triggers coughing, which can contribute to the development of a hiatal hernia. Common medications that can cause GERD include benzodiazepines, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and hormone therapy medications.

GERD symptoms include a burning feeling in the chest or stomach, nausea, a sore throat, and asthma-like symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. These symptoms can be worse at night, after large or fatty meals, or after smoking or drinking alcohol. GERD can also cause extraesophageal symptoms, such as throat clearing, hoarseness, and a feeling of fullness or a lump in the throat.

The diagnosis of GERD is typically based on classic symptoms and the response to acid suppression after an empirical trial. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, or oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), is the most utilised diagnostic test, allowing for direct visualisation of the oesophageal mucosa and detection of complications such as oesophagitis, strictures, and Barrett's oesophagus. Treatment for GERD aims to reduce symptoms and minimise mucosal damage from acid reflux, and may include lifestyle modifications, medication, or, in severe cases, anti-reflux surgery.

Linzess: Safe or Habit-Forming?

You may want to see also


Ovarian cancer, which can cause rare cases of persistent bloating and an inability to pass gas

Ovarian Cancer: Understanding the Link Between the Disease and Inability to Pass Gas

Ovarian cancer, a disease often dubbed the "silent killer," can exhibit subtle early symptoms that are easily attributed to other causes. One such symptom is persistent bloating, which may be accompanied by an inability to pass gas. While bloating is a common occurrence for many people, it is important to be vigilant about unusual or prolonged bloating, as it can be a rare indicator of ovarian cancer.

Understanding Ovarian Cancer and Its Symptoms

Ovarian cancer is a serious condition that affects the ovaries, which are part of the female reproductive system. The disease has earned the nickname "silent killer" because its early stages often present with mild or vague symptoms that can go unnoticed. However, recent research has revealed that people with early-stage ovarian cancer do experience symptoms such as pelvic pain, bloating, and frequent urination.

One of the most noticeable signs of advanced ovarian cancer is bloating. This bloating is caused by a buildup of fluid inside the abdomen, known as ascites. The accumulation of fluid can be attributed to several factors, including the spread of cancer to the peritoneum, liver, or lymphatic system.

The Link Between Ovarian Cancer and Inability to Pass Gas

The buildup of fluid in the abdomen due to ovarian cancer can result in bloating, which may be accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling of tightness around the stomach. This bloating can put pressure on the stomach, impacting digestion and resulting in an increased need to pass gas. Additionally, the pressure on the stomach can lead to a loss of appetite, further exacerbating the issue.

It is important to note that bloating can have many other causes, including gas, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerances, medication side effects, a high-sodium diet, weight gain, and changes during a woman's menstrual cycle. However, if you experience bloating for three weeks or longer, it is important to consult a doctor to rule out any serious underlying conditions, including ovarian cancer.

Managing Constipation and Gas Issues

While ovarian cancer can be a rare cause of persistent bloating and an inability to pass gas, it is important to address these issues when they arise. Constipation, which can contribute to bloating and gas, can often be alleviated through dietary and lifestyle changes. Increasing water intake, engaging in regular exercise, and making dietary changes, such as adding prunes or fiber-rich foods to your diet, can help relieve constipation.

Over-the-counter laxatives can also be used sparingly to treat constipation. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider before using laxatives, as overuse can worsen constipation. Additionally, if you are taking any medications, it is crucial to discuss any dietary and lifestyle changes with your doctor to ensure they do not interfere with your prescribed routine.

Antacids and Metamucil: Safe Together?

You may want to see also

Frequently asked questions

There are several possible causes, including constipation, dietary habits, certain medications, and underlying health conditions. Constipation is a common issue characterised by fewer than three bowel movements in a week, which can lead to straining, bloating, and increased gas. Dietary factors such as consuming foods high in sulfur or certain fermentable carbohydrates and fibres (e.g., cruciferous vegetables, dairy, beans) can contribute to gas buildup. Additionally, certain medications like opioids, antidepressants, and calcium channel blockers can cause constipation, making it harder to pass gas.

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort, nausea, weight loss, and a feeling of fullness. If you experience these symptoms along with an inability to pass gas, it is important to consult a healthcare professional.

Increasing water intake, regular exercise, and dietary changes can help relieve constipation. Consume more water-rich foods, high-fibre foods (but slowly increase your fibre intake), and prunes, which are known to relieve constipation. Additionally, consider using a footstool to raise your knees while on the toilet, as this position aids in bowel emptying.

If you experience persistent constipation, inability to pass gas, bloody stools, constant stomach pain, unintentional weight loss, or other concerning symptoms, consult a healthcare provider. They can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment options.

Yes, certain yoga poses and exercises can assist in relieving muscle tension and promoting the passing of gas. For example, the child's pose, knee-to-chest pose, and happy baby pose can help relax the hips, lower back, and groin, facilitating the release of gas. Additionally, squats and lying twists can also aid in digestive transit and gas relief.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment