Antidiarrheal Medications and Laxatives

antidiarrheal medications laxatives for bowel problems

Problems in the bowel can lead to the need for antidiarrheal medications and laxatives.

Antidiarrheal medications and laxatives can be used either to either bulk up stool (in the case of diarrhea) or soften stool (in the case of constipation).  Diarrhea may cause a person to have bowel incontinence and constipation may cause a person to have overflow diarrhea and bowel incontinence.

NOTE:  Medications and laxatives can be used to treat a variety of different types of bowel incontinence but should always be discussed first with a doctor or medical professional.

Antidiarrheal medications and laxatives are less invasive than surgery and may be tried as a first- line of treatment.  They can be stopped at any time if the desired results are not achieved or of the side-effects are undesirable.Continue reading

Fiber Therapy for Bowel Incontinence

granola fiber therapy

Fiber therapy includes adding whole grains and fresh fruits to your diet.

Fiber absorbs liquids in the digestive system, thereby bulking up fecal matter. It is recommended that women under 50 consume 25 grams of fiber per day. A woman over 50 years of age should consume 21 grams per day. Men younger under 50 are recommended to get 38 grams per day. Men over 50 should get 30 grams per day in his diet. The average American, however, only has about 15 grams of fiber per day in his or her diet. And what is fiber therapy?  Fiber therapy is simply increasing your fiber intake gradually until you reach the recommended daily intake for your age.

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Dietary Changes for Managing Bowel Incontinence

eliminating alcohol as part of dietary changes

Alcohol may be part of some dietary changes needed to manage bowel incontinence symptoms.

Foods that commonly contribute to diarrhea and bowel incontinence are chocolate, dairy products, alcohol, and caffeine. Try eating less of these foods to see if it improves the consistency of your bowel movements. In addition to adding  fiber to your diet, other dietary changes may include undergoing an elimination diet to see if certain foods trigger incontinence of stool.Continue reading

Bowel Retraining

fiber rich diet for bowel retraining

Adding fiber and fluids to your diet is the first step in a bowel retraining treatment plan.

Bowel retraining is about having consistent or regular bowel movements.  Having regular bowel movements is crucial to obtaining fecal continence and restoring control over your bowels.  Continue reading

Artificial Sphincter Surgery for Bowel Incontinence

external sphincter muscle squeezing

This shows the external sphincter muscle properly squeezing and keeping fecal matter inside until he proper time.

Everyone has a pelvic floor: it is a hammock of muscles that lies in your pelvis, supporting your internal organs in that area (bowel, bladder, and – in women – the uterus) and keeping them in the correct place. In your pelvic floor are a few muscles that are called “sphincters”.  There is an internal and external sphincter surrounding the anus. These anal sphincter muscles naturally contract around the rectum and keep the fecal matter inside your body until you relax the sphincters at a socially-acceptable time (generally when you’re using a toilet).  As the urge to defecate increases, you can contract (or squeeze) your sphincters to gain more control.  When you cannot control these sphincter muscles, bowel incontinence (also called accidental bowel leakage or fecal incontinence) may happen.

Surgery to implant an artificial sphincter involves placing an inflatable sphincter around the anus. A pump (placed inside the body in the labia or scrotum) is used to deflate the device, allowing fecal matter to pass through at the appropriate time. The device automatically refills after ten minutes, once again closing off the rectum.Continue reading

Constipation

Picking fresh tomatoes

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables may help ease constipation.

Constipation occurs when stool becomes very difficult to pass from the rectum and out the anus. Stool that remains in the rectum for too long may stretch and weaken the sphincter muscle, allowing watery stools to leak around the lodged stool and then out of the anus – accidental bowel leakage (ABL).  Constipation may also cause you to strain. Straining while trying to pass stool may weaken your sphincter muscles, which can also increase your risk of bowel incontinence or ABL.Continue reading