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
- 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.
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:
- Frequent flatus
- 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 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.
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.
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:
- 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, 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.