Bowel Incontinence – What it is, Causes and Treatments

Bowel Incontinence – What it is, Causes and Treatments  that cannot be ignored.  Also,  bowel incontinence , also called fecal incontinence , is a loss of bowel control that results in involuntary fecal elimination. Severity can range from an infrequent involuntary passage of small amounts of stool  to a complete loss of bowel control . Some people with bowel incontinence feel the urge to have bowel movements but are unable to wait to get to a bathroom. Other people do not feel the sensation of a pending bowel movement and have a complete lack of bowel control. THEBowel incontinence can be an embarrassing condition, but it can improve with treatment. So, check out  Bowel Incontinence – What it is, Causes and Treatments.

Cause of Bowel Incontinence:  Normal bowel control depends on the proper functioning of the pelvic muscles, the rectum (lower end of the large intestine ), the sphincter muscles ( anus muscles  ) and the nervous system. Injury to any of these areas can result in bowel incontinence . Common causes of bowel incontinence include:

Fecal impaction: Chronic constipation   can lead to bowel incontinence . This happens when a stool gets stuck in the rectum. The stool  can stretch and weaken the sphincter, which makes the muscles unable to stop the normal passage. Another complication of an incontinence bowel is leakage of liquid fecal matter through the anus  .

Diarrhea : Diarrhea is the result ofloose or watery  stools which is bowel incontinence . These loose stools  can cause an immediate need for a bowel movement. The need can be so sudden that you don’t have enough time to get to a bathroom.

Muscle Damage: Damage to the sphincter will prevent the muscles from keeping the anus  tightly closed. Hemorrhoids, surgery, trauma, and constipation   can damage your sphincter muscles.

Nerve Damage: If the nerves that control sphincter movement are damaged, the sphincter muscles will not close properly. When this happens, you won’t feel like going to the bathroom. Some causes of nerve damage include birth trauma,  frequent constipation  , stroke, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

Hemorrhoids :  External hemorrhoids can prevent the sphincter from closing. This allows loose stools and mucus to pass unintentionally, thus causing  bowel incontinence.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Pelvic  floor dysfunction is also one of the causes of bowel incontinence. Women can experience damage to the muscles and nerves in the pelvis during childbirth, but the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction may not be immediately noticeable. They can occur years later. Complications include: Weakness of the pelvic muscles that are used during bowel movements, Rectal prolapse, which is when the rectum protrudes into the anus  Rectocele, which is when the rectum protrudes through the vagina

Diagnosing Bowel Incontinence:  Your doctor will perform a thorough medical evaluation to diagnose bowel incontinence . Your doctor will ask you about the frequency of bowel incontinence , when it occurs, diet, medications, and health issues. The following tests can help reach a diagnosis:

  • Physical examination of the rectal area
  • stool culture
  • Barium enema (X-ray of the large intestine , including the colon and rectum)
  • Bloodtests
  • Electromyography (to test the function of related muscles and nerves)
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray

Treatment For Bowel Incontinence: Treatment for bowel incontinence depends on the cause. Some of the treatment options include:

Diet: Foods that cause bowel incontinence ,  diarrhea  or constipation  are identified and eliminated from the diet. This can help normalize and regulate bowel movements. Your doctor will many recommend an increase in fluids and fiber.

Medications: For diarrhea  , anti-diarrheal medications such as loperamide, codeine or diphenoxylate/atropine (Lomotil) may be prescribed to thicken stools  and prevent bowel incontinence . Your doctor may recommend fiber supplements for constipation .

Bowel Recycling: Following a bowel recycling routine can encourage normal bowel movements. Aspects of this routine to combat  bowel incontinence may include:

  • Sitting on the toilet at a regular time
  • Stimulating the sphincter muscles with a lubricated finger
  • Using suppositories to stimulate bowel movements

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