Tag Archives: Bowel Incontinence

Passive Bowel Incontinence

Millions of people across the United States suffer from passive incontinence each day. With passive incontinence, the brain fails to send a warning that the rectum is full.

The causes of passive incontinence vary and may be corrected through simple lifestyle and dietary changes. Overall, it is very treatable.

Symptoms of passive bowel incontinence include:

  • Involuntary and unawareness of the passage of stool
  • Aversion to social situations
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Leakage
  • Passing stool during flatulence

Passive incontinence can be one of the most mentally detrimental forms of incontinence. People with passive bowel incontinence may avoid social situations and interactions, even work, to avoid accidents. If you suffer from passive incontinence, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Take our Fecal Incontinence Self-Assessment

Double Incontinence

Dual incontinence, also known as double incontinence, occurs when an individual suffers with both bladder and bowel incontinence. This condition affects women and men equally.

The incidence rate is lower than urinary or bowel incontinence in isolation. Although dual incontinence tends to occur in older individuals, it is not a natural part of the aging process.

Studies have shown that for those suffering from dual incontinence, quality of life is more severely affected than those who suffer from only urinary incontinence. If you are suffering from dual incontinence, it is not unusual to feel embarrassed over the social stigma associated with this condition.

Urinary and bowel incontinence, in isolation or combination, are treatable conditions. If you suffer from dual incontinence, the first step is to call the Incontinence Institute so we can connect you with a physician trained in treating this condition and its symptoms.

The symptoms of dual incontinence are the same as those found in urinary incontinence and bowel incontinence, which can include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of urine and stool
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Irritated or itchy anus
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bloating

As with urinary or bowel incontinence, diagnosis begins with a thorough look at your medical history and a full physical examination. Following this step, patients will likely undergo diagnostic testing to aid in a precise diagnosis of the condition. For the convenience of our patients, diagnostic testing is typically performed onsite during the initial visit.

If you or a loved one suffers from dual incontinence, please contact us today. We can connect you with a physician who can help

Fecal Impaction

Fecal Impaction, also called encopresis or impacted bowel, typically occurs when stool builds up in the rectum, eventually becoming hard and impacted. As the impacted stool becomes more difficult to pass, loose, runny stool behind the impaction begins to leak out around the impaction, causing overflow incontinence. Some people refer to this as overflow diarrhea.

Symptoms typically include:

  • Pain in or around the rectum and anus
  • Abdominal cramps or bloating
  • Frequent gas
  • Ulcers or fissures (tears in the anal tissue)
  • Soiled undergarments

Dealing with the symptoms of fecal impaction can have a major impact on self-confidence and self-esteem, even causing feelings of depression and sadness. Left untreated, repeated and severe impactions can eventually damage rectal tissue, exacerbating bowel incontinence symptoms and making the condition more difficult to treat.

If you are suffering from encopresis, do not be embarrassed. Nearly 10 percent of men and women in the U.S. suffer from bowel incontinence in some form, almost 30 million people!

But it is also important to understand that incontinence is not a normal part of aging. However, bowel incontinence is a treatable condition and, in many cases, completely correctable.

Treatment of fecal impaction involves not only treating the current impaction problem, but also diagnosing issues that may be causing the problem in the first place, such as the production of dry stools that may be painful to pass or a slow-moving colon. Sometimes, dietary and lifestyle changes are all that are needed, other times, medication or other medical intervention can help treat the cause.

If bowel incontinence symptoms are affecting your everyday life, the first step in feeling more confident is to see your doctor to discuss your symptoms. Remember: Physicians specializing in incontinence treat patients with the same type of symptoms every day, so there is no reason to hesitate or feel embarrassed. Every day that you delay treatment is one more day you have to live with uncomfortable symptoms. Contact our doctors today for an appointment.

Rectal Leakage

The term bowel incontinence is an umbrella term used to classify multiple types of bowel control issues. Rectal incontinence is a form of bowel incontinence in which the nerves in the sphincter muscles begin to function improperly causing affected individuals to defecate with little to no warning.

This inability is caused by malfunction of nerves in the area that send messages to the brain signaling when to expel stool or flatus. When these important nerves are damaged in the anal sphincter muscles, anal leakage and bowel control problems result.

Symptoms of rectal incontinence include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Frequent flatus
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Soiled undergarments
  • Complete loss of bowel control

It is a misconception that rectal incontinence is a normal party of aging. It is not. This embarrassing condition is treatable, and in many cases, completely correctable. We can connect you with a physician who can help.

Flatus Bowel Incontinence

Flatus incontinence, more commonly referred to as flatulence incontinence, is a relatively common condition affecting men and women.

This often embarrassing condition occurs when an individual feels the sensation of a full rectum but does not have the ability to determine whether the sensation is caused by the presence of flatulence or stool. In this instance, the body’s sensation transmitters are not properly signaling the brain, which causes affected individuals to soil themselves.

Take our Fecal Incontinence Self-Assessment

Symptoms of flatus incontinence include:

  • Inability to distinguish between flatus and stool
  • Uncontrollable flatulence
  • Passage of stool and/or flatulence unexpectedly
  • Digestive discomfort

Flatus incontinence can result from improper diet, especially one that is filled with a high intake of carbohydrates. It may also be caused by malabsorption disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) or poor thyroid function. Symptoms of flatus incontinence are prevalent in other forms of bowel incontinence including urge incontinence. In order to get a proper diagnosis, it is important to speak to a physician.

Take our Fecal Incontinence Self-Assessment

Urge Bowel Incontinence

Urge incontinence is a type of bowel control problem in which fecal matter is discharged from the rectum despite attempts to retain it. The sudden urge to go to the restroom comes on unexpectedly, and often, the individual cannot make it to the restroom in time.

Urge incontinence is slightly more common in females due to weakening of muscles after giving birth, yet it commonly affects men too.

The type of stool passed during urge incontinence differs for each individual.Urge incontinence sufferers may involuntarily pass stool, ranging from liquid to solid. Often this occurs when an individual passes gas, and a small bit of stool accompanies the escape from the body.

Symptoms of urge incontinence include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Irritated or itchy anus
  • Abdominal pain, bloating or cramping
  • Urinary incontinence

The symptoms of urge incontinence have some overlap with passive incontinence and fecal seepage, but the difference is in the root cause of the condition. It is important to see a physician to determine what is causing your incontinence. The severity of urge incontinence varies from person to person, as do the symptoms.

Many people think they only have diarrhea, but urge incontinence is a real and highly treatable condition. We can connect you with a physician who can help.

Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence, or bowel incontinence, a condition affecting both men and women, is characterized by the inability to control bowel movements.

It affects an estimated 18 million American adults although actual numbers are likely much higher due to many sufferers failing to report this issue to their physicians.

Fecal incontinence affects people differently some have leaks of solid or liquid fecal matter, some cannot reach a restroom in time, and some don’t realize they need to go until it’s too late. The good news is that fecal incontinence is highly treatable.

There are three main types of fecal incontinence:

  • Passive incontinence – Involuntary discharge of feces or gas, usually without awareness
  • Urge Bowel Incontinence – Uncontrollable discharge of gas, feces, and/or mucus despite attempts to control bowel movements
  • Rectal Leakage – Leakage of stool following a routine bowel movement

Some other types of fecal incontinence include:

  • Flatulence Incontinence – Individual feels the sensation of a full rectum but does not have the ability to determine whether the sensation is caused by the presence of flatulence or stool
  • Encopresis and Fecal Impaction – Stool in the rectum becomes impacted and runny stool behind the impaction begins to leak out

Causes of Fecal Incontinence

  • Muscle damage – For women, this most often occurs during childbirth.
  • Aging Pelvic – floor and rectal muscles can weaken with age.
  • Nerve damage – This can occur due to childbirth, diabetes, surgery, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
  • Medical conditions – Rectal prolapse, chronic constipation, or inflammatory bowel disease are just a few possible causes.
  • Other causes – There are many possible causes for bowel leakage including overuse of laxatives, radiation treatments, etc.

Fecal incontinence, also known as bowel incontinence, is inconvenient and can be embarrassing. It is treatable, and there are many treatment options available to you if you are suffering. Contact the Incontinence Institute today to learn how we can help treat fecal incontinence.

About The Incontinence Institute

At the Incontinence Institute, our team of healthcare providers understand the physical and mental trials that accompany living with urinary or bowel incontinence. Because of this, we are sensitive to your situation and treat all of our patients with the utmost respect and concern for discretion.

Individual incontinence conditions, treatment and recovery times may vary. Each patient's experience with incontinence procedures and / or surgery will differ. All surgical procedures involve some level of risk. If directed to pursue surgery by your physician, prompt action is advised, as waiting may reduce the efficacy of surgical treatment. The opinions expressed in patient testimonials are by patients only; they are not qualified medical professionals. These opinions should not be relied upon as, or in place of, the medical advice of a licensed doctor, etc.

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Incontinence Institute 2009 Mallory Lane, Suite 100 Franklin, Tennessee 37067