Chronic Constipation Killed Elvis

Presley's colon was 5 to 6 inches wide, 8 to 9 feet long

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 7, 2010 8:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Most assume drug dependency and obesity were the main players in Elvis Presley’s death, but the truth may actually be more embarrassing: The King was chronically constipated. His longtime doctor and friend George Nichopoulos writes about the problem in his new book, The King and Dr. Nick, revealing that Presley’s colon was twice as long and twice as wide as a normal colon at the time of his death, and that four- to five-month-old stool was found in it during the autopsy.

The TMI continues, in a Fox News look at the book: Due to the treatments attempted for his constipation, Elvis would “have accidents onstage,” Nichopoulos writes. Even his bloated appearance can be explained by this little problem: Presley sometimes looked better, and that was because “he had a good healthy bowel movement and then lost a lot of weight from that.”

25th March 1958:  American singer and actor Elvis Presley (1935-1977) sitting on a bench eating a sandwich, Memphis, Tennessee.
25th March 1958: American singer and actor Elvis Presley (1935-1977) sitting on a bench eating a sandwich, Memphis, Tennessee.   (Getty Images)
In this Sept. 9, 1956 file photo originally released by the Museum of Television & Radio, Elvis Presley performs on the Ed Sullivan Show, in New York.
In this Sept. 9, 1956 file photo originally released by the Museum of Television & Radio, Elvis Presley performs on the "Ed Sullivan Show," in New York.   (AP Photo/Museum of Television & Radio, file)
Elvis Presley is shown performing in Providence, RI on May 23, 1977, three months before his death.
Elvis Presley is shown performing in Providence, RI on May 23, 1977, three months before his death.   (AP Photo)
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