Fecal Incontinence: The Embarrassing Problem Nobody Wants To Talk About

If you are suffering from fecal incontinence, it can be difficult to discuss your concerns with anyone. However, your physician and medical care team can help you find out why you are having the problem and recommend testing to rule out various causes prior to recommending a treatment solution. Your physician is experienced in dealing with the problem and you will not have to worry about confidentiality issues.

Understanding fecal incontinence

Fecal incontinence can present itself in multiple ways. For some people, it may occur with sporadic bouts of extreme diarrhea, which leads to control issues. For others, it can present as fecal leakage from the rectum without an apparent cause, or it may present with the leakage of stool when passing flatulence.

Urge incontinence versus fecal incontinence

If you only experience fecal incontinence when you have a stomach virus or bout of diarrhea from eating something that did not agree with you, you likely do not have anything to be concerned about. In fact, this condition is normal under these circumstances and is referred to as urge incontinence.

However, if your fecal incontinence occurs randomly without any known cause, it will need to be addressed. You may experience fecal incontinence without any natural feeling of an impending bowel movement, or you may find small amounts of fecal matter in your underwear. Any of these occurrences warrant a call to your physician.

Causes of fecal incontinence

Damage to the muscles near the rectum can cause fecal incontinence. This may occur following childbirth, especially if the delivery was difficult or if forceps were used to assist the delivery. Fecal incontinence can also be caused by a spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, strokes, or when the nerves near the anus become damaged from repeated straining to have a bowel movement due to chronic constipation.

Preventing and treating fecal incontinence

If your incontinence is caused by a major health disorder, treating the underlying condition may help. If your incontinence is a result of nerve damage, you can prevent further damage by eating plenty of fiber, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding straining when having a bowel movement. You should seek the guidance of a physician to maintain a healthy digestive tract.

It is never easy to seek help for embarrassing health problems. However, you never have to worry about discussing sensitive issues, such as fecal incontinence with your doctor. Nobody else really needs to know about it and you can work closely with your doctor to find a remedy that works for your condition.