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What is the cause for fecal incontinence?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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My stool has been leaking for the past week. I have to wear a sanitary pad
Posted Sat, 25 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer: fecal incontinence Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic Leakage of stool can be very distressing. It is called fecal incontinence. There are different causes: (1)diarrhoea- diarrhoea due to different causes (viral or bacterial infection, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease) results in fecal incontinence. (2)nerve related causes- any damage to the nerves that supply the anus can cause fecal incontinence- diabetes, damage to the nerves in the spine, multiple sclerosis (3)damage to the anal sphincters- this is a group of muscles at the anus that normally prevents stools from leaking. (4)Impacted feces- if there is a history of constipation and feces is impacted in the colon, then there is leakage of watery stool around this hard stool (5)any condition that prevents the colon from expanding due to damage - inflammatory bowel disease (6)sometimes the cause is not known If you are experiencing acute diarrhoea due to any cause, then this is more than likely the cause for your problem. Diarrhoea is most commonly due to infection. In this case, the use of fluids to remain hydrated, dry foods and probiotics (found in yogurt) would help. Medications that help to bulk up the stool may also help. This includes medications such as citrucel. Adding foods with increased fiber such as fruits and vegetables may also have an effect.They would also help to increase stool bulk If this is not the case, then you need to consider visiting your doctor for an assessment. This would a history and physical examination. Investigations may also be needed. The treatment would depend somewhat on the results of the above but may include medication, treating impaction if present, surgery, treating the nerves responsible. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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