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A 45-year-old member asked:

Can a person die if they have had severe constipation?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joseph Roosth
Internal Medicine 36 years experience
Rarely: As the primary cause of death, probably uncommon. However, blockage of the colon can lead to many severe chemical abnormalities in the body, the potential for severe nutritional impairment etc. Severe constipation mainly results in great lowering of the quality of one's life. A gastroenterologist is a good person to see, although many pcp's treat this daily.
Dr. Jan Rakinic
Colon and Rectal Surgery 39 years experience
Rare but yes...: Severe constipation can rarely cause hard, dry stool to erode through the colon wall. Peritonitis can occur, and death is a possibility. Having said that, most people's constipation will never become that extreme. Drink lots of water and increase your fiber intake- psyllium is a good fiber supplement. And see your doctor for help!

Similar questions

Houma, LA
A 17-year-old male asked:

Can i die from severe constipation?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carla L. King
Pediatrics 24 years experience
Unlikely: Severe constipation leading to obstruction in the large bowel can lead to death but this is unlikely in a healthy young adult. You are more likely to suffer from abdominal pain or hemorrhoids.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016
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