Everyone has suffered from constipation at one point in time, so we all know the struggle of trying to pass our waste without any success. Fibers, warm liquids, and even laxatives are used to get the job done, but sometimes these are simply useless. One young Man in China, who suffers from an uncommon condition which leads to chronic constipation, suffered terribly.

Having your bowels “blocked” for a couple of hours or days is definitely unpleasant, but being constipated for years on end is a whole different thing. The 22-year-old patient was born with a condition called Hirschsprung's disease, that causes constipation.

Those affected by this disease lack the nerves and muscles which produce the bowel movements, so the patient is unable to 'poo' anymore. The waste builds up and this leads to a lot of complications.

Chronic constipation can lead to severe health issues

The Chinese patient had developed symptoms of the disease from an early age. His belly started to swell from all that waste, making him look like a pregnant woman. To be able to survive, he relied on strong laxatives, which helped keep his constipation under relative control. The disease is usually diagnosed in babies and small children and without treatment, it can lead to enterocolitis, a bowel infection, which can become fatal if left untreated.

However, the young man failed to look for medical help and lived with his condition for about 20 years, until the pain became too unbearable. Dr. Yin Lu, the patient's doctor, decided to operate on the man and remove a section of his bowel.

When the young man checked into the hospital in pain, the doctors performed multiple tests on him and his strange condition.

The tests revealed the man had a huge amount of feces in his colon, which caused the pain and could lead to a number of other complications, like diverticulitis, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, Parkinson's disease and many more.

How to spot the signs of Hirschsprung's disease

The young man underwent three-hour surgery, during which Dr.

Lu and his colleagues removed 30 inches of intestines filled with waste. The doctors weighed the section they removed which amounted to two stone! The medical team estimated the man had years' worth of feces in his intestines. The young patient, whose name was not revealed, is now stable and expected to make a full recovery.

Doctors advise parents to keep an eye on their babies and small kids in order to detect Hirschsprung's disease early on. In babies the giveaway signs are:

  • lack of meconium 48 hours after birth

  • vomiting bile

  • swollen tummy.

In small kids the symptoms of Hirschsprung's are tummy pain, a swollen abdomen, and physical changes: the child either loses weight or puts it on around the abdomen.