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Fecal incontinence is the inability to control your bowels – for instance, not being able to “hold it” until you get to the toilet, or perhaps leaking stool unexpectedly while passing gas. This is not uncommon. More than 5 million people in the United States have fecal incontinence.
What Causes Fecal Incontinence?
There are many causes of fecal incontinence. It can stem from dietary habits or the result of surgery and can be nerve related. Aging, pregnancy, childbirth, and diabetes can also cause the condition.
Treatments for Fecal Incontinence
There are several options for treating fecal incontinence. Dietary changes, medications, physical therapy (bowel training), and surgery can all help control the symptoms of fecal incontinence. Non-surgical medical management is always the first line of therapy. If those measures fail, then surgical treatment is considered.
How to Prevent Fecal Incontinence
An improved diet can help prevent fecal incontinence. Fecal incontinence related to aging and muscle deterioration can be prevented by doing Kegel exercises, which are exercises for the pelvic muscles. A specific injury or condition causing fecal incontinence must be treated on an individual basis.