The Bizarre Story Of The Man Who Only Pooped Once A Month

Ever wondered how long you can go without going? Probably not. But let me tell you about a man who spent his entire life only going for a poo about once a month.

Yup, the unnamed man suffered with a condition called congenital aganglionic megacolon, or Hirschsprung's disease, which happens when nerve cells within the colon don't develop properly making it difficult for waste to move through.

Credit: The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Credit: The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

In the case of this chap, according to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, he was a generally healthy baby, with the exception of large abdomen and some constipation, up until the age of one and a half, when things got worse.

Growing up, he suffered with severe bouts of constipation and the size of his abdomen swelled. By the time he hit 16 he was regularly going up to a month without a bowel movement. And, even though doctors knew that his ailment was caused by a problem with his colon, surgery would have been very risky, it was the 1890s after all.

Credit: The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Credit: The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Sadly, rather than getting help, aged 20 the man ended up in 'dime museum' as an exhibition where he was known as the 'Wind Bag' or 'Balloon Man' and people would pay to come and see him, due to his extended abdomen.

He eventually died when he was just 29 due to the condition - being found dead in a bathroom where he was attempting to go the toilet.

After his death, surgeons removed his colon which was found to be holding 18kg (40lbs) of excrement - at its largest, the colon was a whopping 76cm (30in) in diameter.

Credit: The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Credit: The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Now, his colon is on display at a museum in the US; so, if you fancy going to see a massive colon belonging to some poor man who had a terrible time due to a chronic condition, then you can head to the Mütter Museum run by the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Thankfully, due to advances in medical science Hirschsprung's disease is no longer fatal. In fact, according to the NHS, it's usually spotted and successfully treated with surgery while suffers are still very young.

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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