Your Guide To Fecal Incontinence

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Many people struggle with incontinence, and this condition can be embarrassing. If you have fecal incontinence, there may be solutions to help. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

Types of Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence may present as urge incontinence or passive incontinence. With urge incontinence, you get the urge to have a bowel movement, but you are incapable of making it to the bathroom in time. With passive incontinence, you may have no urge to use the bathroom before it leaks. Regardless of the type of incontinence you have, you may also notice diarrhea, constipation, bloating, mucus, and gas.

Causes of Fecal Incontinence                      

If you eat something that doesn't settle right or you get sick, you may develop a short bout of fecal incontinence, especially urge incontinence. However, chronic fecal incontinence may be caused by nerve damage. The damage may interfere with the bowel's ability to function and/or tell when the bowel is full. Causes of nerve damage may include:

  • Surgery/scar tissue
  • Colon blockage
  • Childbirth
  • Diabetes
  • MS

Muscle damage, particularly damage to the sphincter may also hinder the anus from fully closing. This can lead to passive incontinence. Other causes of fecal incontinence may include:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rectal prolapse

Solutions for Fecal Incontinence

Talk with your doctor about the cause of your fecal incontinence and treat it accordingly. For example, if you have hemorrhoids, consider surgery to remove them. Similarly, having scar tissue that blocks the bowel removed can also help.

However, you can also do some exercises to help tighten your pelvic floor. This makes it easier for you to control your rectum to prevent incontinence. Changing your diet can also help, but there are many procedures and surgeries that can also help, including:

  • Biofeedback to help strengthen your pelvic floor
  • Bulking agents to thicken the walls of the anus and help prevent leaks
  • Sacral nerve stimulation to better manage the nerves in the pelvis
  • Radiofrequency therapy to improve muscle strength of the anal canal
  • Sphincteroplasty to repair a weak sphincter

In extreme cases, your doctor may also recommend a colostomy to divert the colon away from the anus and to a colostomy bag. Of course, if you don't want to seek treatment or treatment doesn't seem to help, there are adult incontinence pads and diapers to consider.

If you struggle with fecal incontinence, you're not alone. Making some lifestyle changes may help, but in some cases, surgery is the best method. If you would like to know more, contact a doctor in your area today.