What to Know About Fecal Incontinence

Most health conditions start as small issues before becoming complicated problems. It’s always best to address them before they begin to take a negative toll on your day-to-day life. Fecal incontinence is one problem where you should see a colorectal expert as soon as possible.

What is Fecal Incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is a condition where you have difficulty holding stool. A significant percentage of the patients that seek treatment for this condition are adults and senior citizens. This is a common problem, but often not discussed due to embarrassment. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Mild cases may only involve difficulty controlling gas, while severe cases can lead to an inability to control both liquid and formed stools.

What Causes Fecal Incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is more likely to happen when you have loose stool or diarrhea rather than solid stool. Usually, it is caused by the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. It may also be caused by damage to the nerves of those muscles. The most common cause of fecal incontinence results from a tear in the anal muscles during childbirth. It may also be caused by age-related loss of anal muscle strength. Certain neurological diseases can also lead to fecal incontinence.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Your treatment begins with a comprehensive screening process to determine the causes. Your colorectal expert may be able to prescribe medications and recommend a specialized diet to help with loose stools. You may also benefit from physical therapy to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. In some cases, surgery is needed and your colorectal expert will discuss your best options.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have symptoms of fecal incontinence, book an appointment at Arizona Colorectal Experts. During an appointment, we can create a personalized care plan to help you achieve relief and reduce episodes. To get started, contact our office by calling, filling out our online form or scheduling your appointment online.