"Hidden Poo" Kinda graphic physiological question about bowel function

Some new agey bowel cleansers and bowel irrigation products claim to be able to assist the body in getting rid of impacted fecal material or “hidden poo” in the colon that (apparently) doesn’t come out in normal bowel movements. I know these claims about huge amounts of stubborn toxic feces refusing to budge are BS … but I did wonder if it’s possible at all for even small amounts of solid poo to resist elimination.

When a person takes a laxative the first fecal material that comes out is generally fairly solid, if the laxative effect continues to operate the fecal material usually becomes ever more liquid with each movement to the point it’s essentially water coming through your colon at the end. I’m assuming by the time it’s mostly liquid the entire colon has been emptied and there’s no more solid material in the pipeline

Having set up this attractive bathroom scenario, I did wonder if it’s possible to have any solid impacted feces at all that wouldn’t be removed by normal bowel functioning and would hang around in the colon even if your bowels are being emptied by the effect of a laxative.

IANAD, but I offer a WAG:

Would it be possible to have a part of your intestine develop a “pocket” that feces could get trapped in, but allow other feces to pass over?

No, there is no hidden feces that normal laxatives do not reach. Ask anyone who has had a colonoscopy. A course of over-the-counter laxatives - any of a great number of variants - will clean you out so completely that the scope can find even tiny imperfections.

The claims are pure quackery.

You mean John Wayne DIDN’T have enough feces in his gut to fill a VW Jetta when he was autopsied like the infomercials say? Who knew? ; )

Not a Dr. but having had a Colonoscopy, I agree 100%. And I have pictures to prove it! :slight_smile:

Victim of two colonoscopie here. There are no hidden feces.

Well put.

Somehow, I can’t picture an ad for New-Agey bowel cleaners without the phrase “scrubbing bubbles.” Maybe I should use the Happy Orthodox Scrubbing Bubble Man smiley here. ;j ;j ;j

Some of those colon-cleanse ads include outright lies. I heard one that claimed it was not a laxative but the main ingredient was psyllium husk which is a well known bulk-forming laxative.

I suppose if the product user doesn’t know what psyllium husk is, then they would be mightily impressed with all the supposed junk the product ‘scraped off’ the lining of the their gut.

This doesn’t quite address the OP, but there is a medical condition called encopresis in which someone (usually a child who would seem to be old enough to be potty trained) constantly soils their underwear. Essentially what has happened is the child has been withholding stools to the point where they’ve got a fairly large amount of fecal matter built up inside the colon. New waste comes down the pipeline and, while still fairly liquid, leaks past the impacted mess. It’s so liquid that the child genuinely can’t control it. So despite the fact that the child appears to be pooping constantly, he’s actually, well, “full of it”.

Having a child who has been struggling with this for years, I know far more about it than I ever wanted to :eek:

However, laxatives (a prescription stool softener, or a standard OTC enema) do work on this, as we had the “pleasure” of testing a couple of years ago.

Mama Zappa- We used Miralax for months (!) to retrain my young son!

I was fully awake during, and watched my colonoscopy on a video monitor. It was surprisingly clean in there!

So what is the use of expensive intestine cleaning water therapy (forgot the name of it) that was popular early 90s? Could everyone have saved themselves a bit of money by buying a cheap laxative?

Small bits of poop are taken care of by the bowel, which undergoes “housecleaning” every six hours via the enteric nervous system. You can usually take care of poop without a laxative, although a bottle of fleet phosphosoda certainly would work better than colonic irrigation, etc.

Dr_Pap, MD

Thanks Dr Poop, oops, sorry, I mean Pap. Colonic irrigation!
Have you seen the ads for cleaning kits below?

No. I’m not into virtual hydrotherapy.

from the ads on this thread:

yes, humans (and all other aminals) evolved for millions of years without developing a colon that was capable of doing its job.

that’s probably why neanderthal died out, they didn’t shoot water up their buttholes enough.

Related question, inspired by the My Cleansing Experience Google ad, the one that says, “I’ve been cleansing for over 25yrs!”

Now that we’ve established that it’s not necessary to do this … is it harmful? Can you do yourself harm this way?

I imagine people have the (unpleasant) images of some form of gunk that is claimed to have been removed from the intestines via colonic irrigation - what is that? The material I’ve seen isn’t supposed to be feces, but a thicker, usually very dark rubbery substance, a sort of “plaque.”

Is this a total fake or what? (There’s a a good sampling of what I’m talking about right now linked to on the front page of a certain ‘Rotten’ site [not linking as per board policy].) Are these mislablelled photos, wholly created piles of gunk that didn’t come out of people - or what?

YES. Possible but not probable.
** Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis **
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
OTOH ‘It’ will all come out in the end.
The horror stories are pure BS to extract $ from wallets not excrement from colons.
A good diet is all that is necessary for normal bowel function with only occasional assisstance from stool softeners and/or laxative.