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

Clostridium difficile and Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea

clostridium difficile

A Clostridium difficile infection can cause sudden bowel incontinence.

Bowel incontinence and diarrhea are commonly found in critical care areas of hospitals and long-term care settings. Diarrhea and bowel incontinence are major contamination risks in medical and care facilities. About 10-15% of all hospital patients develop antibiotic associated diarrhea – also called nosocomial diarrhea. This is diarrhea that happens when antibiotic medicine that is being used to stop or prevent an infection in a patient (examples: penicillins, cephalosporins, clindamycin, flouroquinolones) also kills good bacteria in their intestines that usually keeps bad bacteria under control. When the good bacteria is killed, it allows strong, antibiotic-resistant bad bacteria, which the patient may come in contact with in a hospital or long-term care facility, to multiply and grow out of control. This causes antibiotic associated diarrhea. Some antibiotic associated diarrhea is caused by a seriously bad bacteria called Clostridium difficile.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

Using Kegels for Bowel Incontinence

My Story – Submitted by: Anonymous

I developed bladder incontinence years before I began to have bowel incontinence. The bladder incontinence began in my late fifties, and the bowel at age 61.

Neither of them were due to accident, disease or other outside causes. Perhaps they were inherited, as I know my mother had bladder incontinence in her later years. I don’t know if she had bowel incontinence, and I no idea whether my father suffered from either condition.Continue reading