Bowel incontinence: what is it?
When you can’t regulate your bowel movements, you get bowel incontinence, also known as fecal incontinence, which causes you to leak solid or liquid stool. Bowel incontinence can affect anyone, though it is more frequent in elderly persons. Bowel incontinence affects around 18 million persons in the United States.
Why does bowel incontinence occur?
Typical causes include:
- Diarrhea. Solid stools are easier to handle than loose ones, yet loose ones may leak.
- Constipation. Large, hard stools may cause incontinence if watery stools accumulate behind them and leak around them.
- Muscle weakening or injury. Muscles that keep your anus closed might be damaged or weakened after childbirth, cancer treatment, and hemorrhoid surgery, which can cause leaks.
- Nerve damage. Some disorders, such as diabetes and MS, as well as inactivity, can affect the nerves around the rectum. Senior citizen who might have difficulty moving about is at risk if they spend most of the time lying down or sitting.
- Childbirth. Forceps during labour or an episiotomy, a cut made in the vagina to reduce tearing during delivery, have the potential to harm the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. Bowel incontinence may be the result of this injury. Incontinence may result from hemorrhoids’ interference with the normal function of the muscles surrounding the anus.
- Aliment circumstances. People who are lactose intolerant and have intestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome may experience bowel incontinence (IBS).
- Forms of disease. People who are lactose intolerant or suffer from an intestinal like IBD or irritable bowel syndrome may experience bowel incontinence (IBS).
- Medications. Incontinence can result from taking certain drugs, such as laxatives.
What is the treatment for bowel incontinence?
Typical therapies include:
Medication. Prescription and over-the-counter medications may be helpful. While bulking agents, such as fiber supplements, can make the stool more firm and easier to regulate, anti-diarrhea medications can lessen the frequency of bowel movements and the urge to go.
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Bowel conditioning. Incontinence can be reduced by getting your body habituated to urinating regularly, such as after each meal.
Surgery. There are numerous ways to fix wounds that result in incontinence, such as a muscle tear from childbirth. Another procedure that enables you to collect stool in a bag outside of your body is a colostomy.