An impacted bowel occurs when people have been constipated for a long period of time and have used laxatives, explains Medline Plus. People who are not active or are bed ridden often experience constipation that can lead to an impacted bowel.
Additional causes of an impacted bowel include diseases of the nervous system or brain that cause damage to the nerves that connect with muscles within the intestines, according to Medline Plus. Certain medications can also lead to constipation or blockages that prevent passing a stool. Narcotic pain medications such as codeine or methadone and drugs used to treat diarrhea can lead to an impacted bowel if taken frequently and over an extended period of time.
Dietary changes, certain types of mental illness and constipation that is not treated can also lead to an impacted bowel, explains WebMD.
An impacted bowel occurs when muscles within the intestines no longer know how to move feces or stool on their own, explains Medline Plus. Common symptoms include bloating and abdominal cramping, rectal bleeding, straining when passing stools, or leakage of liquid or watery diarrhea. People may also experience lower back pain, rapid heartbeat, bladder pressure or light-headedness when suffering from an impacted bowel. Those suffering from these symptoms should see a medical professional to determine treatment options.