Doctors in Australia have intervened after a man became so constipated his fecal matter gave him paralysis in one of his legs.
A 53-year-old took himself to the emergency room with abdominal pain that had been building for three days, swelling and nausea. More alarmingly, he was experiencing pain in his right leg, which he was unable to move for the past 24 hours. The leg had no palpable pulse and was cold to the touch, the doctors write in the BMJ Case Report.
His medical history revealed no drug taking, no risk of vascular disease and no significant medical history to speak of. It turns out he just really, really needed to poop. (Oh yeah, turns out you've probably been doing it wrong your whole life)
A rectal examination revealed that the man had impacted stools. A scan of his abdomen revealed he was suffering from massive fecal compaction and potentially life-threatening abdominal compartment syndrome (increased pressure in the abdomen).
The scan revealed his fecal matter had become so backed up, it had distended his large intestine and put pressure on his right iliac artery. This pressure caused the pain in his leg, as well as the paralysis.