Bowel/Fecal Incontinence

 
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Fecal incontinence can occur because of digestive tract disorders and chronic medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis and long-term diabetes. Childbirth can also be a cause that occur only to women. With fecal incontinence or bowel control loss, individuals need to pass stool but are not able to control it before reaching a toilet. Sometimes, people pass stool without knowing it until they feel, see it or smell something.

What causes Fecal Incontinence?

Diarrhea - Characterized by loose, watery stools, Diarrhea is the most common risk factor for fecal incontinence.

Nerve damage - If the nerves that control the anus, pelvic floor and rectum are damaged, the muscles can’t work the way they should. Damage to the nerves that signal when there is stool makes it hard to know when to go to the bathroom.

Constipation - Constipation can lead to large, hard stools that are difficult to pass. Muscles in the rectum stretch and weaken over time. The weakened muscles let watery stools that build up behind the hard stool leak out.

Scarring & Inflammation - If the rectum is scarred or inflamed, it may become stiff and unable to stretch to hold in stool. Surgery and radiation therapy as well as inflammatory bowel disease can cause also contribute to scarring and inflammation.

Muscle Injury or Weakness - If the muscles in the anus, pelvic floor or rectum are injured or weakened, they may not be able to keep closed, letting stool leak out.

Neurological Diseases - Neurological diseases such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke as well as type 2 diabetes are some of the conditions that can affect the nerves of the anus, pelvic floor and rectum and cause fecal incontinence.

Hemorrhoids - Herommoids can keep the muscles around the anus from fully closing, which lets small amounts of stool and/or mucus leak out.

Rectal Prolapse - It causes the rectum to drop down through the anus, can also keep the muscles from closing completely and releases stool or mucus.

Physical Inactivity - People who are not physically active and spend many hours a day sitting or lying down may be holding a lot of stool in their rectums. In these cases, liquid stool sometimes leaks around more solid stool.

How manage Fecal Incontinence?

  1. Incontinence Diapers and Briefs: Quilted briefs and undergarments with heavy protection that accord reassurance and peace of mind to users can be used.
  2. Bowel Training - Scheduling your bowel movements can help you gain more control when needed.
  3. Bowel Retraining - Planning your bowel movements at a certain time each day, for example after meals to get the body on a regular schedule.
  4. Pelvic Floor Training - Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor, rectum and anus. The constant tightening and relaxing of the pelvic floor and rectal muscles may help those muscles become stronger.
  5. Biofeedback - Can help build awareness and control over the body.
  6. Sacral Nerve Stimulation – In this technique a small electrode is implanted on the sacral nerves near the tailbone that sends signals to the sphincter muscles to stop contracting.

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