Fecal incontinence: Symptoms, treatment and prevention
| Oct 10, 2019
| Mayo Clinic News Network – Being unable to control bowel movements, called fecal incontinence, is a common problem in people as they age.
Fecal incontinence can range from an occasional leakage of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control.
Common causes of fecal incontinence include diarrhea, constipation, and muscle or nerve damage.
The muscle or nerve damage may be associated with aging or giving birth.
While fecal incontinence is embarrassing and difficult to talk about, health care providers can offer treatments to help control the condition and improve quality of life for patients. Source.
Depending on the cause, it may be possible to prevent fecal incontinence. These actions may help:
- Reduce constipation. Increase your exercise, eat more high-fiber foods and drink plenty of fluids.
- Control diarrhea. Treating or eliminating the cause of the diarrhea, such as an intestinal infection, may help you avoid fecal incontinence.
- Avoid straining. Straining during bowel movements can eventually weaken anal sphincter muscles or damage nerves, possibly leading to fecal incontinence. Read more.