Constipation is a common issue for people who do not eat enough fiber and healthy food. Constipation also can be a problem for people who take long-term medications that can cause bowel issues as a side effect. An impacted stool forms when you are so constipated that a large, hard mass of waste gets trapped in your rectum and you are unable to move your bowels properly due to blockage. Before contacting your doctor, there are a few home remedies that you can try to help pass your hard stool.
Enemas, which are small devices containing fluid that is pumped directly into your rectum, can be used to help with impacted stool. Enemas should be saved for bowel emergencies and should not be used on an everyday basis. Overuse of an enemas can cause rectal injuries or dehydration. However, it is better to try to use an enema if you have an impacted stool than to continue suffering. An enema can be found at any local pharmacy. Be sure to follow the directions on the enema package. Do not use more than one enema at a time. Make sure to drink plenty of water or Gatorade before and after enema use to stay hydrated.
If the idea of using an enema is too much for you, taking an oral stool softener may be a better fit. Be sure to take your over-the-counter stool softener with a big cup of water. It is best to take your stool softener at bedtime or when you are able to relax at home. It may take the stool softener several hours to work. Once you pass your hard stool, stop taking stool softeners. Drink plenty of water and eat a well balanced diet filled with vegetables to prevent future constipation.
If you can feel the hard stool near the tip of your rectum and are unable to push it out, you can attempt to manually apply mineral oil to soften it. Put on a latex glove to protect your hand from germs. Put mineral oil on the finger tip of the glove. Stick your hand into your rectum and lightly apply the mineral oil in hopes of softening the hardened stool. After you do this, sit on the toilet and void the stool the natural way. It is possible to remove impacted stool by hand, but if you have no medical training you could hurt yourself in the attempt.
Diet and Exercise
If you feel like your are becoming constipated but you are not yet feeling sick, it is best to attempt exercise to help move the stool along. Doing situps, leg lifts or going for a short walk can help you to move your bowels. Drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fiber-rich food in hopes of getting your body regular. If during your struggle with constipation and stool impaction you find yourself feverish or you see blood in the toilet, call your doctor.