Incomplete evacuation or incomplete bowel movement is a subjective feeling experienced by patients of varied diseases, predominantly Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. Affected individuals feel that all stool has not been eliminated during a bowel movement and that it wasn’t as complete as should be. Constipated people may pass tiny hard stools resulting in a feeling that complete emptying has not taken place. On the other side of this spectrum, people with chronic diarrhea may want to continue passing stools even after numerous bowel movements.
Incomplete bowel movement associated with IBS is mostly likely to be caused by 2 physiological process, i.e. visceral hypersensitivity and motility dysfunction. The former defines an elevated sensitivity to pain inside the internal organs; in this instance it refers to the large intestine. The latter refers to abnormal functioning of the large intestinal muscles, which in turn hampers the process of eliminating well-formed, easy stools.
IBS – Constipation and incomplete bowel movement: Causes, symptoms, and treatment
Individuals affected by IBS-C may suffer from sensations of incomplete bowel movement that has direct links to actual physiology. Patients tend to suffer from problems in passing stool. This means that the rectum has actually not been emptied of stool content, which in turn results in the feeling of incomplete bowel movement, discomfort, and dissatisfaction.
It is but natural that the main way to treat the issue is going for options that will help alleviate the underlying problem of constipation. Affected people may use bulk laxatives or increase fiber content in their diet.
Following a set of good bowel practices and habits is another way to resolve the issue of constipation. You may make a schedule and have a bowel movement only at a specific time of the day, every day. Most individuals have biorhythms that produce the strongest desire to have a bowel movement in the mornings. You need to give yourself, and the body, sufficient time to eliminate as much stool matter as is possible. You may also use biofeedback techniques to envision that the bowel is getting fully evacuated during a bowel movement and thus avoid the sensation of an incomplete bowel movement. The bowel can also be retrained for constipation. Consult a doctor to get information on how to retrain the bowel for constipation.
IBS-Diarrhea and incomplete bowel movement: Causes, symptoms, and treatment
Incomplete bowel movement sensation in IBS-D patients is a far more complex condition. However, there is not much clinical evidence with regards to the causes and treatment options for IBS-D associated incomplete bowel movement.
An ideal bowel movement refers to complete evacuation of stool from the rectum. Thus, in case of diarrhea there is no need to keep having bowel movements as it has already emptied fully. The removal of watery and loose stools during diarrhea means that all firm stool matter has already been eliminated from the bowels. However, the inherent presence of motor and nerve dysfunction in IBS patients causes a perennial sense of incomplete bowel movement.
To counter the sensation of such urgency, IBS-D patients need to remind themselves that the bowel is already empty and that there is nothing in the bowel that needs to be removed. Such a thought process is actually opposite of what most affected individuals keep believing, i.e. fully empting the bowel will prevent additional episodes of diarrhea.It is also a good option to think that stool matter is present in the rectum, so that it can absorb water, firm up, and become ready for elimination the next day as firm stools.
It is also important to remember that the bowel is never fully empty at any point in time, because new stool matter is getting made all the time. If you are afraid of diarrhea episodes in the future, then you may note that it is easier for the rectal and anal muscles to hold dried firm stools coming from the colon as opposed to loose and watery stools coming from well inside the large intestines.
It is best to delay the perennial desire to have a bowel movement as much as possible. You may sit at a quiet spot in the bathroom and use relaxation techniques to calm the body till the feelings of urgency fade away without needing to visit the loo.
Other causes of incomplete bowel movement
The need to make frequent trips to the loo is also symptomatic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD. Elevated levels of anxiety promote the sensation of incomplete bowel movement thereby increasing the desire to empty it. When one engages in frequent visits to the loo, it can strengthen or reinforce the levels of anxiety. Hence, individuals suffering from a sense of incomplete bowel movement may visit a specialist to check for underlying presence of anxiety or OCD. The behavioral therapist will then suggest varied methods to control and manage the urges.