Assessment for parcopresis
Prior to a diagnosis of parcopresis, your medical professional may undertake a series of investigations to rule out physical causes ofdifficulty defecating. These may include attaining a medical history, physical examination, and other diagnostic and/or investigative assessments. Assessments may include the following:
Full medical examination: During a physical examination, your doctor will palpate (i.e., press and feel with their fingers, the abdomen for signs of abnormalities).
Blood test: Assess signs of overall health and infection that may be causing symptoms along with markers of inflammation.
Abdominal ultrasound: Identify abnormalities or irregularities in the abdomen that may be causing faecal retention symptoms.
Computerised Tomography:Identify if there is a build-up of faecal matter in the colon, which can lead to constipation along with other abnormalities such as tumours.
Neurological investigation:Investigate whether neurological dysfunction is contributing to faecal retention symptoms (e.g., impaired nerve signalling) through electromyography (measuring electrical activity of nerve muscles).
Sigmoidoscopy or Colonoscopy:These investigations are designed to examine the inside lining of the bowel and involve the use of a small flexible tube with a light and a camera at the end that is inserted into the backside. This test will help the physician identify any inflamed tissue, ulcers, bleeding or abnormal growths. The medical professional may also take samples looking for microscopic disease.
If you have any concerns regarding your symptoms relating to defecation, please speak with your medical professional.
It is important that a medical examination is conducted as difficulties with defecation can be a sign of physical illness. Once potential medical causes have been eliminated, the treating medical professional can help to explore the psychological causes of parcopresis symptoms. Several psychological conditions are associated with parcopresis and are summarised HERE. A referral to a psychologist for psychological treatment may be recommended. In terms of current treatments for parcopresis, there is a lack of studies evaluating the efficacy of psychological interventions. However, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is likely to be helpful in treating parcopresis symptoms due to its efficacy in treating other anxiety-based conditions such as social anxiety disorder.