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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Faecal Incontinence or Unable to hold stool.

Dear Doctor, My mother is about 65 years old and frail, she is unable to hold her stool for long and whenever she passes the stool it is always liquid and she has been frequenting the loo (for stool) around 8 to 10 times a day. This urge is random, no specific time.Is there a serious problem? Please help.
Sat, 17 Oct 2009
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This condition is called Fecal Incontinence which has numerous causes from Stress to Constipation, from organic spinal problems to brain lesions. We could think of an Organic cause because of a trivial injury. It needs immediate attention by a General Physician / Neurologist for early diagnosis and treatment. After physical examination he might conduct some radiology investigations and manage it appropriately. It would be appreciated if you can answer these questions. 1. What is the volume of stool each time? 2. How many minutes can she hold or Is she passing stool in the clothes? 3. Is the stool volume small or large? A small volume of stool should suggest anal fissure; hemorrhoids, diarrhea, or postoperative incontinence from a fistulectomy. 4. Has she got associated lower limb weakness and not able to hold urine too? 5. Had she suffered an injury due to a fall? There could be an unnoticed spinal or brain injury. 6. Is she examined by a Neurologist, since there are some reflexes to be performed to know if she has a spinal problem or disease. 7. Any other medical condition like Diabetes, Constipation, Nerve disorder, Surgery if any?
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