Bowel incontinence, or the inability to control bowel movements, is a common problem – particularly among older adults. Usually, occasional accidental bowel leakage is not a serious medical problem. However, it can interfere with daily life. Individuals with bowel incontinence may find themselves avoiding social activities – and your social health is extremely important. Therefore, it’s essential to determine the cause of your bowel incontinence whenever possible and take steps to treat it. There are several medical and surgical treatments available and your doctor can help you determine the right course of action for you.
Causes of Bowel Incontinence
There are many possible causes of incontinence and reasons why individuals might find themselves needing bowel incontinence products for women or men. Causes include:
- Damage to the muscles around the anus. This is the most common cause and is often the result of childbirth. For this reason, women are more likely than men to experience bowel incontinence.
- Anal surgery, which can also damage the anal nerves or sphincters.
- Severe constipation and impacted stool.
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Nerve damage due to spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, or diabetes.
- Prostate cancer treatment.
- Cognitive impairment (such as that seen with Alzheimer’s disease or following a stroke).
It’s common for there to be more than one cause of bowel incontinence in the same person. Also, in some cases, no specific cause can be determined.
How Bowel Incontinence Is Diagnosed
It’s normal to feel uncomfortable discussing bowel incontinence with your doctor, but it’s important because proper diagnosis and treatment can make such a difference in your quality of life. During your visit, your doctor will ask a series of questions to learn about your symptoms and also perform a physical examination. The examination usually includes checking the strength of the anal sphincter as well as running tests such as stool testing, endoscopy, nerve tests, and others.
Treatments for Bowel Incontinence
Once a cause is determined (or even if no clear cause is found), there are a number of recommended surgical and non-surgical treatments available. These include:
- Diet changes. Eating plenty of fibre, avoiding caffeine, and consuming plenty of water can help.
- Exercises. Kegel exercises aren’t just for urinary incontinence; they can also help with bowel issues.
- Bowel training. Scheduling bowel movements at the same time each day can help you avoid accidents.
In many cases, more than one treatment may be used at the same time to relieve symptoms.
Bowel Incontinence Products for Women and Men Available through Holistic Incontinence
If you’re looking for bowel incontinence products for men and women, you’ve come to the right place. At Holistic Incontinence, we stock an array of bowel incontinence products for women and men at much lower prices than the leading brands (but not lower quality). We take pride in not only offering our customers top-quality products but also in sharing helpful information and advice and truly caring for individuals dealing with incontinence. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!