Bowel incontinence, also called fecal incontinence, means that your bowel lose normal control to eliminate feces but then perform involuntary.
What Causes Bowel Incontinence?
For many people, there is more than one cause of fecal incontinence. Causes can include:
What are the symptoms of bowel incontinence?
- Muscle damage. Injury to rectum (anal sphincter) may prevent the muscles from keeping the anus tightly closed.
- Nerve damage. Damage to the nerves that sense stool in the rectum or those that control the anal sphincter can lead to fecal incontinence.
- Constipation. Chronic constipation may lead to a mass of dry, hard stool in the rectum that is too large to pass.
- Loss of storage capacity in the rectum. If your rectum is scarred or your rectal walls have stiffened from treatment, the rectum can't stretch as much as it needs to, and excess stool can leak out.
- Surgery. Surgery involving the rectum and anus can cause muscle and nerve damage that leads to fecal incontinence.
- Rectal prolapse.
- Rectocele. In women, fecal incontinence can occur if the rectum protrudes through the vagina.
Obviously, the patients may be unable to resist the urge to defecate, which comes on so suddenly that they don't make it to the toilet in time. This is urge incontinence
In another kind of condition, namely passive incontinence
, people are not aware of the need to pass stool.
How Is bowel incontinence treated?
Bowel incontinence is an embarrassing condition, but it can improve with treatment. Here are some remedies and the specific ones depend on your condition and causes.
- Keeping track of what you eat.
- Getting adequate fiber.
- Drink more water.
Some foods that may lead to incontinence in some people include:
- Dairy products
- Fatty, fried, or greasy foods
- Spicy foods
- Cured or smoked meats
- Sweeteners such as fructose, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol
- antidiarrheal medications such as loperamide, codeine, or diphenoxylate/atropine (Lomotil) for thicken stools
- fiber supplements for constipation
- sitting on the toilet on a regular schedule
- stimulating the sphincter muscles with a lubricated finger
- using suppositories to stimulate bowel movements
- Kegel exercises: strengthen the pelvic floor muscles
If your condition is too severe to be settled with home remedies, surgeries are the choices, such as rectal sphincter repair, gracilis muscle transplant, artificial bowel sphincter and so on. Your doctor will tell you the one you should choose.
To relieve anal discomfort and eliminate any possible odor associated with fecal incontinence, keep the skin around your anus as clean and dry as possible.
Keywords: bowel incontinence, bowel incontinence causes, bowel incontinence treatment, bowel incontinence treatments, bowel obstruction treatments