People who have limited or no control over their bowel movements suffer from fecal or bowel incontinence. It is a condition that is met with a lot of shame which is why most people refrain from seeking treatment from a medical professional. Many are also under the impression that the problem can resolve itself without intervention if it is very mild or there is no cure for it when it has reached a very serious state.
Fecal incontinence may not be a life-threatening condition, but it affects a person’s quality of life and self-esteem. Many hide in solitude because they are ashamed of their condition. The first step in treating bowel incontinence is to see a general practitioner for a full diagnosis. They will then give you different treatment options, depending on your needs and the severity of the condition. These are common fecal incontinence treatment options available today:
Use Of Continence Products
These products are very affordable and readily available in many hospitals and local pharmacies. However, it is worth noting that although they can address incontinence problems for a short-term and do not address the underlying cause of the condition.
Foam Plugs that are placed in the rectum to prevent leaks from happening. Pads that are worn inside the underwear that helps address issues with soiled undergarments and pants.
In cases where incontinence issues are connected to diarrhea and constipation, a GP will recommend the patient to consult with a dietician. Simple changes in diet can help people who suffer from mild cases of fecal incontinence, but the prescribed meal plans should be strictly followed or this type of treatment will not be successful.
There are two common bowel training types that are usually recommended for treating incontinence issues. First is to develop a bathroom pattern. With a routine in place, it becomes easier to control the frequency of daily bowel movements.
The second bowel training method involves the help of a therapist. The trained professional teaches patients to strengthen the muscles found around the anus. A patient is taught how to locate these muscles and is instructed on how to perform different exercises. This is training is known as biofeedback.
Some doctors will also prescribe medication to help reduce incontinence. This may include anti-diarrhea medicine or some form of laxative that can help with constipation. Even if medication is available over-the-counter it is still best to consult with a doctor beforehand.
As a last resort for very serious incontinence problems, your GP can recommend surgery. Surgical options include Sphincteroplasty where the damaged anal sphincter muscles are sewn back together.
Colostomy is a procedure where the abdomen is opened up and the colon is brought up to the surface for easy stool collection. The stool will then be collected in a pouch that is placed on the opening of the abdomen. This is a last resort option when all other treatments have failed.
There are several other treatment options available that can resolve incontinence issues. Consult with your doctor to find out which treatment is best for your case.
The risk factors of bowel incontinence may include age, gender, nerve damage, physical disability or dementia. If you or a family member struggle with bowel incontinence, check with your doctor ASAP.