Fecal incontinence is a common condition that affects as many as 18 million adults in the US. The predicted number can even be greater, as many people opt out of seeking medical care because they are too embarrassed to seek help. The main symptom of the condition is the uncontrolled release of fecal matter or bowel leakage.
Many of the cases Bowel incontinence can be remedied with a simple over the counter medication that addresses either constipated or diarrhea. There are some instances where incontinence is more severe and will require medical intervention. Here are the signs that a case of bowel incontinence is serious:
Sign #1: When OTC Medication Does Not Work
When the incontinence has continued even after several days of taking medication, it may be time to seek medical interference. In cases where the medication does not solve the problem, there could be a more serious issue happening within the gastrointestinal tract. This will require immediate action from a specialist to rule out any serious and potentially life-threatening causes.
Sign #2: Frequent And Severe Recurrence
Some people find that they have to deal with their incontinence on a regular basis. When the condition has begun to affect your quality of life because you are ashamed to interact with people in fear of the problem arising while in public, medical assistance may be required. Mild and infrequent fecal incontinence can easily be handled at home because they resolve themselves easily, but when the problem occurs frequently, it is time to schedule an appointment with a GI specialist or with your GP.
Sign #3: Cases Of Nerve Damage
When the nerves that are controlling the anus and rectum area are damaged they can no longer work properly. This can make it difficult to tell when stool is present and you need to go to the bathroom. Nerve damage can be the result of a brain or spinal cord injury or something as simple as long-term straining when passing stool.
Nerve damage can only be remedied with the help of a qualified surgeon. The sooner the problem is addressed, the less toll it will take on a person’s life and self-esteem.
Sign #4: Muscle Injury
In cases where the muscles located in the anus or rectum have been injured or weakened, there is a need for medical intervention. If the muscles are not able to keep the anus closed, bowel leakage happens more often. The treatment option that can remedy this issue is a surgical procedure, which means medical intervention is a must.
Sign #5: Inflamed Rectum
A person who is suffering from inflammatory bowel disease has a higher chance of developing fecal incontinence as well. When the rectum is inflamed or when scars develop, it loses its ability to stretch properly which means it cannot hold as much stool as before. Rectal surgery, as well as radiation therapy, is needed to treat the condition successfully.
Visit a GP or GI specialist if you are suffering from frequent bouts of fecal incontinence because the sooner it is treated, the sooner you can live a full life once more.
Bowel incontinence symptoms may occur during a bout of diarrhea but for some patients, it can be a recurring or chronic problem. Consult a doctor so a proper workup can be done.