Elvis Presley ‘died of chronic constipation’

Elvis Presley

A little more action, and Elvis could have still been alive today says former doctor

BY Rachel Helyer-Donaldson LAST UPDATED AT 12:29 ON Fri 7 May 2010

The rumour that Elvis Presley died on the toilet could be true after all, if a new claim by his longtime doctor that 'the King' was killed by severe constipation is to be believed.

When Elvis was found dead on his bathroom floor at his Graceland mansion aged 42 it was widely reported that the cause was an irregular heartbeat, brought on by drug dependency, obesity and a weak heart. But a new book by Presley's physician, Dr George 'Nick' Nichopoulos, claims that the music legend's 1977 death was due to chronic constipation.

The cause of this was not the huge numbers of grilled peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches and cheeseburgers which 'the King' loved to consume in his later years, however. According to Nichopoulos, who was Elvis's doctor for 12 years, the constipation was due to a physiological problem, which in turn contributed to his bloated appearance.

In The King and Dr Nick, Nichopoulos says that an autopsy on the late singer showed that his colon, at six inches in diameter, was twice as wide as the average person's. It was also around eight to nine feet long - double the standard four or five feet. Even more disturbingly, the post-mortem also found a stool in Elvis's colon which had been there "for four or five months", the doctor claims.

Nichopoulos says that Elvis suffered from constipation for many years. As a result, the King would have to go through a number of outfit changes during a show. "He would get embarrassed, he'd have accidents onstage," Nichopoulos told Fox News.

Presley was offered a colostomy to shorten his colon, but the King's "ego" got in the way, Nichopoulos says. "If they had done the colostomy then, he'd probably still be here."

The condition was also to blame for Elvis' ballooning weight gain in his later years - not overeating, Nichopoulos insists. "We were going back and comparing pictures [of the last few years of his life], some of them were taken just two weeks a part but he looked like he'd gained 20 pounds when the only difference was that he had a good healthy bowel movement and then lost a lot of weight from that." · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.

Read more about