First of all, it is the loss of gas. This is in addition to liquid or solid stool. Consequently, it is thought to affect between 2 and 7 percent of the general population, although the actual incidence is difficult to measure. This is due to most people being hesitant to discuss this problem with a healthcare provider.
In addition, involuntary loss of gas or liquid stool affects men as well as women equally. However, women are almost twice as likely as men to report this. Lastly, fecal incontinence is also more common in older adults, especially nursing home residents.
There are many possible causes of fecal incontinence. So, in most cases, it results from some combination of diarrhea or damage to the anal sphincter. This is in addition to neurologic causes.
Firstly, after discussing symptoms, the gastroenterologist may recommend a colonoscopy. In addition, they may recommend a sigmoidoscopy as well as a anoscopy. Consequently, this is to directly examine the colon as well as rectum. Sometimes, imaging tests can help to then identify the source of incontinence. In addition, an ultrasound or MRI of the rectum can identify structural abnormalities of the rectum. Furthermore, anorectal manometry can then detect if the internal pressure of the rectum is impaired. In addition, it can detect if rectal sensation as well as rectal reflexes are impaired. Also, stool tests for infection as well as inflammation are also helpful.
Next, the most common treatments for fecal incontinence are medical or biofeedback. In addition, this includes electrical stimulation as well as surgery. Furthermore, medical therapies include bulking agents as well as anti-diarrheal medications. In addition, this includes anticholinergic medications as well as defecation regimens. Furthermore, biofeedback also involves working with a physical therapist to then identify as well as retrain the muscles of the anal sphincter. Next, anal as well as sacral nerve stimulation can also reduce rectal leakage. Finally, a variety of surgical procedures can be performed to then eliminate fecal incontinence. Lastly, these procedures can range from repair of the anal muscles to colostomy.
Finally, fecal incontinence can create anxiety as well as lead to social isolation. In addition, people who suffer from fecal incontinence should learn as much as possible about their condition. In addition, they should also discuss their symptoms honestly with their gastroenterologist. Consequently, this is a treatable condition.