What is Fecal Incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is not being able to control bowel movements. Stool (feces) leaks from the rectum without warning. Fecal incontinence ranges from an occasional leakage of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control. 

What Causes Fecal Incontinence?

Several factors affect the ability to regulate bowel movement:

  • Muscle damage
  • Nerve damage:
    • Childbirth
    • Spinal cord injury
    • Stroke
    • Multiple sclerosis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Older Age
  • Surgery
  • Rectal Prolapse
  • Rectocele

What are the Symptoms of Fecal Incontinence?

Some of the common symptoms of fecal incontinence:

  • Stool leaks out when passing gas.
  • Stool leaks out due to physical activity/daily life exertions.
  • Feeling like you have to go and not being able to make it to the bathroom in time.
  • Stool is seen in the underwear after a normal bowel movement.
  • There’s complete loss of bowel regulation

What is the Treatment for Fecal Incontinence?

Fecal incontinence can be treated by several different treatments including anti-diarrheal drugs and diet changes. Providers may also suggest physical therapy and bowel retraining. Another treatment option is bowel control therapy (Medtronic InterStim™ system), a simple in-patient procedure where a small device is implanted to gently stimulate the sacral nerves in your pelvic area that control your bowel. 

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Prevention & Treatment

Bowel Control Therapy

Enteroscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube, attached with a camera, called an enteroscope, to examine the small bowel. Learn more about this procedure and schedule an appointment with a Gastro Health physician at a convenient location.The Medtronic’s InterStim Therapy is a minimally invasive procedure to restore bowel control through a device. Read here to learn more about this procedure

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