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Gregg Shore Discusses Understanding Bowel Incontinence: Causes, Symptoms, and Risk Factors



Do you feel like you need help with your bowel movements? Millions of people have bowel incontinence, causing uneasiness and obstructive daily routines. Gregg Shore will delve into the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of bowel incontinence, giving you knowledge and solutions to manage this common concern.

What Is Bowel Incontinence?

Bowel incontinence, also well-known as fecal incontinence, is described as the disability to keep bowel movements under control, resulting in the unwanted leakage of stool. Various reasons, including muscle or nerve harm, chronic constipation, or diarrhea, can be the reason for this condition. General symptoms include rapid accidents, difficulty arriving at the bathroom on time, and loss of bowel control during physical action.

What Causes Bowel Incontinence?

Muscle or Nerve Damage

Muscle or nerve damage is a common cause of bowel incontinence. Here are steps to manage it:

  • It’s essential to ask a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose the issue and the severity of the damage.
  • Engaging in physical treatment and organizing pelvic stage exercises into your routine can be beneficial for strengthening the impacted muscles.
  • Surgery may be recommended to mend or replace damaged muscles or nerves in severe cases.

Chronic Constipation or Diarrhea

Chronic constipation and diarrhea can be reasons for bowel incontinence.

  • Dietary changes: Boosting your fiber intake can be achieved by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stay hydrated and avoid trigger foods.
  • Medications: Consider using over-the-counter laxatives or stool softeners to address chronic constipation or diarrhea, as these medications may provide relief.
  • Bowel training: Establish a regular schedule for bowel movements and practice relaxation techniques.

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

  • Engaging in pelvic stage exercises helps strengthen the muscles in that area.
  • Consider adding biofeedback treatment into your treatment plan to learn how to effectively control and relax your pelvic muscles.
  • Consider medications prescribed by a healthcare professional to address specific symptoms.

Rectal Prolapse

Here are some moves that can be useful to manage rectal prolapse:

  1. Make a good habit of practicing pelvic stage practices to strengthen the muscles supporting the rectum.
  2. Establish a regular bowel movement routine through bowel training to reduce the risk of prolapse.
  3. In more severe instances, surgical intervention may become necessary to reposition the rectum.


Medications can be a more effective therapy option for managing bowel incontinence.

  • It’s advisable to discuss with a healthcare professional to know which medication will best suit your specific requirements.
  • Ensure to keep the recommended dose and frequency as your healthcare provider orders.
  • Appointed medications like anti-diarrheal medicines can remove bowel movements and maintain leakage.

What Are the Symptoms of Bowel Incontinence?

Accidental Bowel Leakage

Accidental bowel leakage is a common symptom of bowel incontinence.

  1. Use absorbent pads or underwear to prevent leaks and maintain proper hygiene.
  2. Incorporate more fiber and fluids into your diet to help regulate bowel movements and reduce leakage.
  3. Establish a regular bathroom routine to train your bowels and increase movement control.
  4. Consider medications or medical devices, such as anal plugs or bulking agents, to assist with managing leakage.
  5. Seek support from healthcare professionals or support groups to manage this condition’s emotional or psychological impact.

Difficulty Controlling Bowel Movements

Difficulty controlling bowel movements, also comprehended as fecal incontinence, can be an uncomfortable condition.

  • Physical therapy: Pelvic floor exercises like Kegels can strengthen the muscles responsible for controlling bowel movements.
  • Dietary modifications: Adjusting fiber intake, avoiding trigger foods, and staying hydrated can regulate bowel movements.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidiarrheals or stool softeners, may be prescribed to address specific symptoms.
  • Bowel training: Establishing a regular bathroom routine can train the body and improve control.

Frequent Urges to Have Bowel Movements

Frequent urges to have bowel movements can be a distressing symptom of bowel incontinence.

  • Incorporate pelvic floor exercises into your routine to strengthen the muscles responsible for controlling bowel movements.
  • Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet with adequate fiber to regulate bowel movements.
  • Consider medications or medical interventions if conservative measures are not effective.

Incomplete Bowel Movements

Incomplete bowel movements can be caused by various factors and can be addressed through lifestyle changes and medical interventions:

  1. Ensure adequate fiber intake to promote regular bowel movements.
  2. Stay hydrated to soften stools and facilitate easier passage.
  3. Exercise regularly to stimulate bowel function.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress and promote healthy bowel movements.
  5. Consider over-the-counter medications like stool softeners or laxatives under medical guidance.

What Are the Risk Factors for Bowel Incontinence?


In old age, the likelihood of improving bowel incontinence gains. Taking specific actions and making lifestyle modifications is essential to lower this risk.

  1. Maintain a healthy diet rich in fiber to regulate bowel movements.
  2. Practice pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that control bowel movements.
  3. Take medications as prescribed and avoid any that may cause bowel issues.

Chronic Health Conditions

Chronic health disorders, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or inflammatory bowel disease, can contribute to the growth of bowel incontinence.

  • Regularly practice physical activity to improve muscle tone and control over your muscles.
  • Discuss medication side effects with your healthcare provider and explore alternatives if necessary.
  • Practice good bowel habits, including regular toileting schedules and avoiding excessive straining.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

The human body has significant changes during pregnancy and childbirth that can contribute to bowel incontinence.

  1. Practice Pelvic Floor Exercises: Boosting the pelvic floor muscles, such as with Kegel practices, can sustain the bladder and bowel.
  2. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Extra weight can exert additional stress on the pelvic area, which may boost the risk of experiencing incontinence.
  3. Avoid Constipation: Hold a high-fiber diet, remain well-hydrated, and include regular physical workouts to control constipation, which can weaken the pelvic base powers.


Obesity is a considerable risk element for bowel incontinence.

  1. Lose weight: Include periodic physical activity and a flat diet to maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Eat fiber-rich foods: Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your diet to promote regular bowel movements and lower the risk of constipation.
  3. Practice good bathroom habits: Set regular bathroom habits and take your time in the bathroom to confirm the complete evacuation of the bowels.

How Is Bowel Incontinence Diagnosed?

Bowel incontinence is diagnosed through a series of steps and medical tests, which include:

  • Medical history review
  • Physical examination
  • Stool analysis
  • Anorectal manometry
  • Imaging tests
  • Anal sphincter electromyography
  • Endoscopy

What Are the Treatment Options for Bowel Incontinence?

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes can have an impact on bowel incontinence. Regard the following steps:

  1. Increase fiber intake to facilitate regular bowel activities and prevent constipation.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  3. Maintain a food diary to identify trigger meals and make required adjustments.


Medications play an essential role in controlling bowel incontinence, with a combination of options available relying on the underlying cause of the condition. Some generally prescribed medicines for this issue include:

  • Antidiarrheal drugs can help reduce bowel movements and control loose stools.
  • Laxatives and stool softeners can assist in regulating bowel activities and stopping constipation.

Bowel Training

Bowel training is a technique used to assist individuals in regaining control over their bowel movements. It involves establishing a regular schedule for bowel movements and utilizing relaxation methods to promote regularity.

Here are the necessary steps in bowel training:

  1. Establish a consistent bathroom routine, aiming to have a bowel movement simultaneously each day.
  2. Create a relaxed environment by finding a quiet and comfortable place to sit.
  3. Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation to alleviate stress and tension.
  4. Practice proper posture and positioning on the toilet, ensuring your feet are supported, and your knees are slightly elevated.
  5. Stay patient and persistent, as bowel training may require time and practice to see improvement.


Surgery is a treatment option for bowel incontinence when other methods have been unsuccessful in providing relief.

  • Assessment: The doctor will assess the severity and cause of bowel incontinence to know if surgery is needed.
  • Sacral nerve stimulation: A device is implanted near the sacral nerves to regulate bowel function.
  • Colostomy: A colostomy may be performed in severe cases, diverting the stool to a stoma on the abdomen.
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