Treatment of Fecal Incontinence
There are lots of ways to treat the Fecal Incontinence such as medications, dietary changes, therapies, surgeries etc. We will study each and every technique here:-
- Through Medications: depending upon the cause and kind of fecal incontinence, following medications are given below:-
- Anti-diarrheal Drugs includes loperamide hydrochloride (Imodium) and diphenoxylate and atropine sulfate (Lomotil)
- Bulk Laxatives such as methylcellulose (Citrucel) and psyllium (Metamucil), if chronic constipation is causing your incontinence
- Exercise & Therapies:- Muscle or Nerve damage is one of the important factors causing fecal incontinence, so a doctor may prescribe the patients to perform some physical exercise and therapies to strengthen the muscles. These will improve anal sphincter control and will create awareness towards when to defecate. Some of the options are:-
- Bio-feedback: Trained physical therapists will allow you to learn and perform simple physical exercises which increases anal & pelvic muscle strength. The training can be done with the help of anal manometry & EMG. It will help to know and analyze the patient about the bowel movements to help control over this.
- Bowel Training: Doctor may advise making a conscious effort to have the bowel movement at a specific time of a day. It may involve guiding when to use the toilet after eating will help you gain control
- Sacral Nerve Stimulation (SNS): Sacral Nerves run from your spinal cord to muscles in your pelvis. These nerves are helpful in creating sensation and to strengthen the rectal and sphincter muscles. Implanting a device will send small electrical impulses strengthening the muscles. This treatment is done if almost all the techniques are failed to treat Fecal Incontinence.
- Vaginal Balloon (Eclipse System): A pump type divide is inserted in the vagina. inflated balloon will result in pressure on the rectal area, leading to a decrease in the number of episodes of Fecal Incontinence. This treatment is done only on women and more data is needed to evaluate the success of treatment.
- Posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS/TENS): This is one of the minimally invasive treatments.
- Surgery:- Some serious fecal incontinence may require surgery to correct the problems related to rectal prolapse & sphincter damage caused by childbirth. The surgeries include:-
- Sphincteroplasty: This is done to repair the weakened or damaged anal sphincter. Doctors may identify the injured area of muscle and free its edge from the surrounding tissue. Then they will bring all the edge together and sew them overlapping each other to strengthen the muscle and to tighten the sphincter.
- Treating rectal prolapse, a rectocele or hemorrhoids. : This surgical process reduce or eliminate the Fecal Incontinence.
- Sphincter replacement: If natural anal sphincter gets damaged, it is implanted with the artificial anal sphincter. The device is essentially an inflatable cuff which is implanted around the anal sphincter. When inflated, it will get shut tight till you are ready to defecate. an external pump is used to pump the pressure and to allow the storms to be realized. the device then reinflates itself.
- Sphincter Repair (dynamic graciloplasty): In this surgery, doctors take a muscle from the inner thigh and wrap it around the sphincter, restoring muscle tone to the sphincter.
- Colostomy (bowel diversion): In this surgery, a special bag is attached through an opening in the abdomen to collect the waste or stool. A colostomy is done if all the methods are tried.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies for Fecal Incontinence
- Kegel Exercises: This will help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle, bladder, bladder bowel and uterus while reducing incontinence. To perform Kegel exercises, contract the muscles that you would normally use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the contraction for three seconds, then relax for three seconds. Repeat this pattern 10 times. As your muscles strengthen, hold the contraction longer, gradually working your way up to three sets of 10 contractions every day.
- Dietary changes: Our drinking and eating habits affect our discharging methods. If Constipation is the only reason for fecal incontinence, your doctor may prescribe you to drink plenty of water, fluids and to intake fiber-rich foods. If the reason is diarrhea, high-fiber food will help to make the stool little harder to stop the water discharges.So you may be able to gain better control of your bowel movements by:
- Eating Chart: make a chart of the food you are eating in one week. It will help you to recognize the food which is causing bouts of incontinence. Once you identify those foods, stop eating them. Some foods which cause diarrhea, constipation and gas are spicy foods, fatty & greasy foods, cured & smoked meat, carbonated beverages, dairy products, caffeine-containing products, alcohol, artificial sweeteners etc. Try to have natural food only
- Have relevant & High-Fiber: Fiber helps to make stool soft and easy to control. Try to make an aim of having 20-30 grams of fiber in a day. Do not add all the fiber at once, in fact, intake slowly. Rich Fiber foods are fruits, vegetables, whole wheat grains, cereals etc.
- Drink Fluids: To keep the stools softer and easier, intake water or liquids as much as it is possible.
- Skin care:- To avoid irritation or itching raised through focal incontinence, keep your anal skin clear & dry as possible. Following are the measures to keep it clean:
- Wash with Water: Gently wash the anal area with water after each bowel movement. Soap & toilet paper may cause irritation and dryness so try to prefer remoistened, alcohol-free, perfume free towelettes or wipes to clean the anal area. Dry Thoroughly: Keep the area air dry. In case of short time, just pat the area with toilet paper or clean washcloth, do not rub.
- Apply Cream or powder: Moisture cream may keep the anal area smooth and irritation free. Non medicated talcum powder or cornstarch also may help relieve anal discomfort
- Cotton Underwear & Loose clothing: Wear sweat soaking cotton underwear only. change it twice in a day. Avoid tight clothing.
People may use absorbent pads and disposable undergarments to manage such problem, in case medical treatments are not helpful to cure Fecal Incontinence. While using pads or adult diapers, make sure to have wicking layer on the top to keep moisture your skin. Fecal Incontinence may differ for different people. This may be relatively minor in case of the child but for some adult, it may be devastating due to uncontrollable bowel movements.
Some tips to help in case of fecal incontinence
You may feel embarrassed or may have some kind of fear while leaving the home so follow some tips before leaving home to overcome the fear:-
- Use the toilet right before you go out.
- Wear pad or disposable underwear
- carry cleanup supplies with you
- carry changing cloth with you
- Once you reach, check for the toilets first so that you could use it at a glance.
- use pills to reduce the smell of stool & gas
Fecal incontinence can be distressing, so deal with it with great care. Do not fear or do not feel hesitated. Take consultation and timely treatments to cure Fecal Incontinence completely.
Following actions may help you to prevent the Fecal Incontinence which is as follows-
- Reduce Constipation by exercising, eating fiber-foods and drinking plenty of fluids or liquids.
- Control Diarrhea through medication or possible techniques
- Treat intestinal infection, if any
- Avoid straining while bowel movements as it will damage the nerve and muscle of anal sphincter.
Fecal Incontinence Experts will surely help to beat the complications raised through it.