Fecal incontinence refers to occasional or total loss of control of bowel movements causing stool leakage from the rectum without warning. This affects women and the elderly more than men and young people. Instances of fecal incontinence could be like:
Common causes of fecal incontinence are:
Depending on the type and cause of incontinence, fecal incontinence treatment can include dietary changes, medication, bowel training, skincare, and surgery.
Avoid foods and beverages that can cause loose stools and instead consume a diet that includes those that thicken the stools.
Medicinal options include anti-diarrheal drugs, bulk laxatives, and fiber supplements. The anti-diarrheal drugs decrease the movement of stool in the small intestine. Bulk laxatives are helpful if bowel incontinence is caused by constipation, while fiber helps to solidify stool.
Make sure to get your doctor’s approval before taking any medication.
If incontinence is due to muscle damage, your doctor may recommend exercises to regain muscle strength. These exercises improve anal sphincter control and increase awareness regarding the urge to use the bathroom.
There are two types of bowel training. The first type focuses on developing a bathroom usage pattern. Try to set up a routine to regulate and manage your bowel movements. For example, a daily enema at a fixed time will establish a routine and decrease unplanned incontinence episodes.
The second type includes bowel incontinence exercises, such as Kegels, to strengthen anal muscles. A trained therapist will also teach you to locate the correct muscles in order to perform the correct exercise. This is called biofeedback.
Fecal incontinence also causes anal skin irritation due to constant moisture. Moisture barrier creams create a barrier film to protect the skin and keep it dry.
You can also invest in adult diapers for fecal incontinence. Wearing loose cotton clothing and underwear will also help keep the perineal area dry and comfortable. Perineal washes, wipes, and washcloths are great for maintaining comfort and perineal hygiene.
When there is severe damage to the sphincter muscle caused by childbirth or rectal prolapse, your doctor might resort to surgery. The surgical options include colostomy, sphincteroplasty, ACE procedure, artificial bowel sphincter, and sacral nerve stimulation.
HPFY carries a wide range of quality products to aid with incontinence. Some of our best-sellers are:
Maintain personal hygiene with these body patches, which stick painlessly on the skin and protect from leakage and unplanned episodes of minor fecal incontinence. They are easy to apply, do not irritate, and do not interfere with daily activities.
Designed to manage heavy urinary and fecal incontinence for a peaceful night's sleep. The high absorbency keeps the skin dry and wicks moisture away.
An interactive training system for women to help strengthen the core and bladder muscles. Great for post-partum recovery. kGoal Kegel Exerciser is splash proof which makes it easy to clean. It has an eco-friendly battery and is compatible with iOS and Android.
A high-quality and affordable electrotherapy solution. This portable TENS unit is button-oriented, making it easy for older users. It provides relief by administering electrical signals safely and blocking pain from reaching the brain.
Get relief from constipation with this laxative enema. It draws water into the colon to produce a bowel movement and provides a soft stool mass. This enema is also ideal for bowel cleansing before a rectal exam.
Coping with fecal incontinence requires some effort. Use the toilet before leaving home to avoid an unwanted episode in public, and carry a bag with extra clothes and supplies. You can also make dietary changes and try to regulate and build a routine. Consult with your doctor to learn more about how to manage fecal incontinence.
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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...
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