What Really Happens To Your Poop At The End Of Life – Health Digest

A person nearing death can be constipated for a few different reasons, according to experts. Long-term use of painkillers, like narcotic and non-narcotic pain pills, is one reason. “Narcotic and non-narcotic pain medicines slow bodily functions and constipation becomes a big issue,” explained end-of-life educator and registered nurse Barbara Karnes (via BK Books). 

And if you thought someone nearing their final hours may not need to poop because they’re not eating as much, think again. Your body produces waste even when you’re not eating anything, per the experts. However, not getting sufficient nutrition (especially fiber), not hydrating as much, and a lack of physical activity and movement can also cause a person to experience constipation. 

If the person who’s dying has a chronic illness, the disease itself could be the trigger that changes poop habits. For example, a tumor obstructing the intestines, a colon affected by diabetic neuropathy, or changes to neurological and muscle function (particularly digestive muscles) because of Parkinson’s disease or some other progressive disease can all be causes. Other symptoms that often accompany constipation include excessive gas, bloating, burping, stomach pain, headaches, nausea, abdominal distention, and straining while pooping. 

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