With the steady rise in digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, and the accompanying symptoms, many Americans suffer from a potentially embarrassing but not uncommon condition known as fecal incontinence. Like urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence occurs when a person loses the ability to control their bowel movements before they have time to reach a bathroom. It can result in partial leakage of fecal matter, or complete involuntary emptying of the bowels.
While loss of bowel control can understandably cause a great deal of stress, anxiety, frustration, and have a negative impact on quality of life, affecting everything from the ability to work, to intimate and personal relationships, fecal incontinence is a medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated by a gastroenterologist (digestive system doctor).
Causes of Fecal Incontinence
Loss of bowel control can happen for several reasons. Some people may experience it occasionally during an episode of diarrhea. Chronic fecal incontinence occurs regularly and is caused by an underlying digestive problem, or muscle or nerve problems that affect the rectum. The gastroenterology team at the Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima diagnose and treat people for two types of incontinence - passive and urge incontinence. In the passive form, the person may be unaware that they need to have a bowel movement until it's too late. With urge incontinence, it comes on too suddenly to make it to the bathroom in time.
The main causes of the condition are:
- digestive conditions like Chron's disease/irritable bowel syndrome
- nerve damage from surgery to correct hemorrhoids or anal fissures
- inability of the rectum to properly stretch to accommodate passing stool
- rectal prolapse - a condition where the rectum drops down into the anus
- rectocele - when the rectum drops into the vagina
- muscle damage that results from chronic constipation, childbirth, or an injury
Treatment for Fecal Incontinence in Lima
The first step in finding a successful treatment is identifying the cause. Treatment options can range from medication to surgery to repair muscle and nerve damage. If you are suffering from poor bladder and bowel control and fecal incontinence, a gastroenterologist can help. Contact the Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima at (419) 227-8209 to schedule a confidential appointment today.