What happens to your body if you spend 20 days without going to the bathroom?

What happens to your body if you spend 20 days without going to the bathroom?


To spend 20 days without defecating seems impossible, it is undoubtedly uncomfortable and dangerous?

The question comes in the wake of the “clean-up strike” that has been undertaken by a man in Harlow, United Kingdom, whom the police accuse of hiding drugs inside his body.

The suspect has already completed 20 days refusing to go to the bathroom.

What effects can this have on the health of this man or anyone who tries a similar task?

If it is true that the man carries drugs inside his body, he could be endangering his life, but otherwise, apparently there are not many risks.

“You will not accumulate a devastating amount of toxins that can poison your body in such a short time,” says Trish Macnair, of the Society of Primary Care Gastroenterology, in the United Kingdom.

According to Macnair, there is a small risk of the bowel swelling and bursting, but in a healthy young person, what is expected is that the bowel empty before that happens.

“You’re just going to have a lot of uncomfortable stretching of your bowels,” says Macnair.

Graph of a bowel
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption As much as the person wants to endure, sooner or later nature will do its job.

Matter of time

The police who have the suspect in custody say that the suspect has been refusing to eat, which allegedly helps to resist the call of nature.

But even that will not work.

“Even if you’re not eating, the bowel will keep moving,” explains Macnair.

“That’s because only a third of what is found in feces is food waste,” he says.

“A lot of these are dead and friendly bacteria, in addition to the lining of the intestine that is constantly coming off, like the skin, in addition, amounts of fluid.”

Macnair, who said she was surprised that a person spent so many days without defecating, explains that “it’s only a matter of time.”

Containing the desire and squeezing the sphincter will not be enough, because the intestine moves by itself. “You can not control it,” he says, “it has happened to most people.”

While the inevitable outcome comes, the police keep the suspect under observation and perform daily medical check-ups.

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