What's Causing Your Fecal Incontinence?

There are few things more frustrating to deal with than fecal incontinence. Feeling unable to adequately control your bowels can make you feel embarrassed and anxious. The good news is that the common causes of fecal incontinence are fairly well established. Here's a look at some of the more likely causes of your problem and how doctors generally address them.

Nerve Damage

Sometimes, fecal incontinence is due to a loss of control over the muscles in your rectal sphincter. This can happen if the nerves that control these muscles are compromised, such as if one of them is pinched or becomes affected by a degenerative condition. If you have already been diagnosed with a neural condition such as MS or Parkinson's, this is another symptom to make your doctor aware of. You may require a higher dose of the medications you're on to control this symptom, or you may need to add another medication to your routine.

If you were recently in an accident, the fecal incontinence may be due to a nerve having been pinched. It's a good idea to have some x-rays or an MRI taken to see where the damage may have occurred. Sometimes, there may just be swelling that needs to be relieved with anti-inflammatory medication.

Bacterial Infection

Do you have diarrhea in conjunction with your fecal incontinence? If so, there is a good chance your condition is being caused by some sort of bacterial infection, such as an infection with cholera or campylobacter. These infections can make your stool loose but also make the muscles in your bowels tired and weak so you are no longer able to properly control your elimination. Usually, if you have one of these conditions, you'll also feel quite ill. You'll have a fever, and you will feel generally weak with no appetite. 

Your doctor can tell whether you have a bacterial infection, and what kind of bacteria are to blame, with a few simple tests. Usually, they will test your stool for the presence of bacteria. If you do have an infection, antibiotics and fluids will usually clear things up — although it may take a few days for the fecal incontinence to resolve.

If you are struggling with fecal incontinence, there is no reason to go on suffering. Talk to your doctor ASAP. Chances are, you either have an infection, or your nerves are being affected somehow.  

For more info about fecal incontinence, contact a local company.