If you are experiencing a decreased ability to control gas or stool, poorly controlled bowel motions or leaking bowels, then you are dealing with faecal incontinence or bowel incontinence. The symptoms for faecal incontinence can vary from an involuntary passing of gas to a complete loss of control. Affecting both women and men this type of incontinence can cause a great deal of anxiety in those suffering from it.
It can adversely affect your daily life and cause problems with your social life, your work life and your life in general. In elderly people, it is one of the most common reasons that they are placed in a nursing home. Even though this condition is relatively common, there is still a lot of reluctance discussing it, so many people never find the proper help that they need to manage the condition to their best advantage.
Passing a stool involves two sphincters, which are the muscles that hold the stool in the anal canal. There is an involuntary internal sphincter, which you do not consciously control, and there is a voluntarily external sphincter, which you can control. You can consciously squeeze the external muscles to prevent leaking bowels when you sneeze or cough for example. While ageing is certainly a contributing factor to faecal incontinence, there are other factors that can cause this condition as well. For example, in women childbirth is one of the biggest contributors to this type of incontinence. Small injuries to the sphincter muscles can occur from tears, infections, eposiotomies or a prolonged labor and may not show up for years. Then as the muscles weaken with age, the injury becomes an issue causing leaking bowels.
Abnormalities of the rectum can also cause this type of incontinence, whether from disease, genetics or injury. Other injuries like spinal cord injuries can also result in leaking bowels. Any time the nerve function is damaged, you can lose the ability to feel when you need to have a bowel movement. Suddenly it is impossible to tell the difference between the need to pass gas or a stool. As with any type of incontinence the treatments depend on the causes of the condition. Sometimes just a change in diet or simple medication can take care of the problem, and in other cases physical therapy to build muscle strength or to sense a stool can take care of the problem. Even surgical repairs are successful in correcting injury to anal muscles and restoring faecal continence.
So the first person that you want to consult, if you are having problems with leaking bowels, is your doctor, because your medical professional is the one who can help you efficiently resolve your problem. While you are working with your doctor to manage your bowel incontinence using the proper incontinence products can help you to stay active and engaged socially. DryForLife offers a complete line of incontinence pads and products, which can be ordered online or by phone and delivered discreetly right to your front door.
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