Bowel incontinence is the inability to manage bowel movements, making stool to leak unexpectedly from the rectum. Also known as bowel incontinence/fecal incontinence ranges from a rare leakage of stool while passing gas to a full loss of bowel control. Common reasons for bowel incontinence include diarrhea, constipation, and muscle or nerve damage. The muscle or nerve damage may be related to aging or giving birth. Whatever the reason, bowel incontinence can be embarrassing. But do not shy away from consulting the doctor. Treatments can develop bowel incontinence and quality of life.
Symptoms of Bowel Incontinence
Symptoms of Bowel incontinence may arise temporarily during an occasional bout of diarrhea, but for some people, bowel incontinence is chronic or recovering. People with this situation may be unable to stop the urge to defecate, which comes on so suddenly that they do not make it to the toilet in time. This is known as urge incontinence. Another type of bowel incontinence arises in people who are unaware of the need to pass stool. This is known as passive incontinence. Bowel incontinence symptoms may be accompanied by other bowel problems, like:
Consult the doctor if you or the child promotes bowel incontinence, mainly if it is frequent or severe, or if it creates emotional distress. Sometimes, people are reluctant to say their doctors about bowel incontinence. But treatments are available, and the sooner you are evaluated, the sooner you may find some relief from the symptoms.
Bowel Incontinence Causes
For maximum people, there is more than one cause of bowel incontinence. Causes are given below.
1) Muscle damage
2) Nerve damage
3) Constipation disease
4) Diarrhea problem
5) Hemorrhoids or Piles disease
6) Loss of storage capacity in the rectum
8) Rectal prolapse
Complications of Bowel Incontinence
Complications of bowel incontinence may consist of the following two things
1) Emotional distress: The loss of dignity related to losing control over one’s bodily functions can produce embarrassment, shame, frustration, and depression. It is prevalent for people with bowel incontinence to try to hide the complication or to avoid social engagements.
2) Skin irritation: The skin around the anus is delicate and sensitive. Frequent contact with stool can generate pain and itching, and potentially to sores that need medical treatment.
Bowel Incontinence Diagnosis
The doctor will ask questions about the condition and do a physical test for the diagnosis of bowel incontinence that typically includes a visual inspection of the anus. A probe may be used to test this portion for nerve damage. Usually, this touching makes the anal sphincter to contract and the anus to pucker.
Treatment of Bowel Incontinence
2) Dietary changes: What you eat and drink influences the consistency of the stools. If constipation is making bowel incontinence, the doctor may suggest drinking plenty of fluids and eating fiber-rich foods. If diarrhea is involving the problem, high-fiber foods can also add bulk to the stools and make them less watery.
3) Exercise and other therapies: If muscle damage is creating bowel incontinence, the doctor may suggest a program of exercise and other therapies to regain muscle strength. These treatments can develop anal sphincter control and the awareness of the urge to defecate.
4) Surgery: Treating bowel incontinence may need surgery to rectify an underlying problem, like rectal prolapse or sphincter damage caused by childbirth.
Prevention of Bowel Incontinence
Depending on the reason, it may be possible for the prevention of bowel incontinence. These actions may assist:
1) Minimize constipation: Enhance the exercise, consume more high-fiber foods, and drink plenty of fluids.
2) Control diarrhea: Treating or removing the reason for diarrhea, as an intestinal infection, may assist you in avoiding bowel incontinence.
3) Avoid straining: Straining during bowel movements can ultimately weaken anal sphincter muscles or damage nerves, possibly producing to bowel incontinence.