Fecal incontinence is a problem that involves leakage of the stool prior to reaching the bathroom. Estimation says that this problem is fairly common, with 16 to 18 million adults in the US encountering it. Yes, that’s how many individuals suffer from fecal incontinence, but no one would really like to talk about this really embarrassing problem!
There are many different reasons behind fecal incontinence. One of the most common causes of it is a damaged or weakened anal sphincter, which is a ring of muscle that serves to keep the anus closed. Medical experts say that this is something common among women who have given birth. People who have undergone surgical treatment for piles or hemorrhoids are also at risk of ending up with a damaged or weakened anal sphincter.
Certain medical conditions that damage the nerves can also lead to fecal incontinence. If the nerves that keep the anal sphincter tight are affected, it can be very easy for stool to leak out of the anus. Some medical conditions that can cause damage to the nerves are diabetes, multiple sclerosis and stroke. Someone who is always constipated is also at risk of it due to the constant straining while seated on the toilet.
Needless to say, having constipation is something that can lead to fecal incontinence. Having diarrhea, too, may leave a person with fecal incontinence, although temporarily only. He or she may have a hard time holding in large volumes of watery stool, leading to the problem. However, fecal incontinence will go away once diarrhea has been resolved.
Being seen by a doctor is of utmost importance if you have fecal incontinence. While it’s true that talking about it can be a mortifying experience, it’s for your own good. It is your doctor who can identify the cause of the problem, as well as prescribe the right kind of treatment for it. Then there are also some natural remedies available that can help in dealing with fecal incontinence. Some of the steps that you may take at home include:
Having Foods Rich in Fiber
Being constipated all the time can eventually damage the anal sphincter, ultimately leading to bowel incontinence. Make sure that your everyday diet consists of fiber-rich foods. Remember to drink plenty of fluids per day. Staying physically active can definitely help keep constipation at bay.
Consume Prunes or Prune Juice
A foolproof home remedy for constipation is the consumption of prunes. Similarly, you may also drink prune juice. It’s a good idea to opt for this solution before bedtime in order to promote bowel movement the following day. If you are prone to having constipation, consider having prunes or prune juice on a regular basis.
Avoiding Diarrhea-Causing Foods
Some people develop unfavorable reactions to certain foods, usually leaving them with diarrhea. See to it that you are very observant with your reaction to what you consume. Some of those that can bring about loose stools are dairy food products. Many also experience diarrhea after consuming greasy or spicy foods.
Opt for the BRAT Diet
Provided that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) isn’t the cause of your bout of diarrhea, try your hands on the BRAT diet to put an end to diarrhea and considerably lower your risk of fecal incontinence. Foods that you may consume include bananas, white rice, applesauce and white bread toast.
Carry Out Pelvic Muscle Exercises
Since your anal sphincter consists of muscles, working it out can be very beneficial. Something as simple as contracting the anal sphincter for a few seconds on a regular basis can help in strengthening it. Consider asking your doctor on how to perform this properly which, by the way, is sometimes referred to as “kegel exercises”.