Fecal Incontinence Treatment near Kansas City

What is Fecal Incontinence?

Sometimes referred to as bowel incontinence or anal incontinence, fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements, causing an unintentional passing of solid or liquid stool or mucus from the rectum. Fecal incontinence can occur in people of any age, but it is more common in adults over the age of 50. Fecal incontinence is also slightly more common in women. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) estimates that 18 million or more people in the United States suffer from fecal incontinence.

Common causes of fecal incontinence include diarrhea, constipation and muscle or nerve damage associated with age or giving birth.

What are Symptoms of Fecal Incontinence? 

 If you have had any of the following conditions your risk of experiencing Fecal Incontinence can be increased:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Muscle damage or weakness
  • Inability to hold a bowel movement before reaching the toilet
  • Nerve damage
  • Inability to control the passing of gas or stools
  • Gas or Bloating
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Schedule an online consultation today by calling (816) 941-0800, option 1.

How is Fecal Incontinence Treated?

Once a correct diagnosis is made by our team, approaches to successfully treat fecal incontinence can begin. Treatments may include one or a combination of the following:

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

Since the food you eat affects stool consistency and how quickly it passes through the digestive system eating diet and nutrition are important.

  • Eating the correct amount of fiber. Fiber adds bulk to stool and makes it softer and easier to control.
  • Drinking sufficient fluids. Eight, 8 ounce glasses of liquid each day may help prevent constipation. Liquids with caffeine may cause diarrhea.
  • Using a Food Diary.

Medications

Bulk laxatives

Bulk laxatives such as Citrucel and Metamucil, to develop more regular bowel patterns may help.

Antidiarrheal Medicines

Antidiarrheals such as loperamide or diphenoxylate may be recommended to slow down the bowels and help control the problem.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises may strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve bowel control. Additionally, Biofeedback therapy that uses sensors to tell if patients are using the correct muscles may also be helpful.

Bowel Training

Where constipation is involved, developing a regular bowel movement pattern can help relieve fecal incontinence.

Surgery

Surgery may be an option if fecal incontinence fails to improve after other treatments are tried, or if it is caused by pelvic floor or anal sphincter muscle injuries. A Sphincteroplasty, the most common type of surgery used, can reconnect the separated ends of a sphincter muscle torn by childbirth or another injury.

Electrical Stimulation

Called sacral nerve stimulation, or neuromodulation, electrical stimulation of the nerves that pass through the lower back using an implanted battery operated stimulator, can help control muscle reactions, reflexes and sensations, and as a result, bowel incontinence.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment at our Kansas City or Overland Park offices, don’t hesitate to call us at (816) 941-0800.