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Fecal Incontinence

 

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements.

Causes

  • Diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation
  • Damaged anal sphincter muscles
  • Damaged nerves in the sphincter muscles or rectum
  • Certain conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, stroke or scleroderma
  • Childbirth
  • Certain medications
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Surgery of the rectum or anus
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Rectal cancer

Symptoms

  • Involuntary leakage of stool

Treatment

  • Dietary changes in case of diarrhea or constipation
  • Exercises and biofeedback to strengthen the rectal muscles
  • Medication to reduce bowel frequency or consistency
  • Surgery in case of sphincter damage or rectal prolapse

Prevention

  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Avoiding straining during bowel movements
  • Avoiding constipation