This story featured on Gizmodo reminds people to take digestive problems seriously.

Early recognition of chronic idiopathic megacolon is important.
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Bowel perforation in chronic idiopathic megarectum and megacolon.

Bowel perforation in chronic idiopathic megarectum and megacolon.

In a story that reminds people to take digestive problems seriously, a man in the United Kingdom went to the hospital complaining of chronic constipation and abdominal pain. His stomach was bloated and tender and a CT scan revealed that his colon and rectum were completely full. Doctors prescribed oral laxatives and enemas and sent him home. 

He returned to the hospital two days later and was immediately rushed to the ICU where he underwent emergency surgery for a bowel perforation. His gut had “burst” due to chronic megacolon, a rare condition that can have many underlying causes. Doctors repaired the hole in his bowel and performed a colostomy surgery. 

The man’s frightening story, detailed by his doctors in BMJ Case Report, might have been preventable, had others diagnosed him correctly earlier. According to his doctors he is recovering and doing well, but they also point out that an earlier diagnosis could have avoided a life-threatening situation.

Read the full story on Gizmodo: A UK Man's Megacolon Made His Gut Literally Burst.