Fecal Incontinence, stool, rectum, bowel, muscle, cause and treatment
July 14 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Fecal incontinence is prevalent among U.S. women, especially those in older age groups, those who have had numerous babies, women whose deliveries were assisted by forceps or vacuum devices, and those who have had a hysterectomy.  Many women who have fecal incontinence also have another medical condition, such as major depression or diabetes, and often experienced urinary incontinence in addition to fecal incontinence. See also urinary Incontinence.

Fecal Incontinence treatment, what can be done
Treatment for mild fecal incontinence can range from increasing water intake, changes in diet and exercise, to medications that improve the formation of stools, fiber products such as psyllium, to surgery that repairs the sphincter muscles. In some cases, an artificial bowel sphincter can be implanted under the skin to mimic the natural function of the anal sphincter. Biofeedback which involves daily exercises to improve the strength of muscles used to hold back a bowel movement also is an option for some patients. Fecal incontinence product.

Psyllium powder is effective
Dis Colon Rectum. 2015. Loperamide Versus Psyllium Fiber for Treatment of Fecal Incontinence: The Fecal Incontinence Prescription (Rx) Management (FIRM) Randomized Clinical Trial. Fecal incontinence is a devastating condition with few US Food and Drug Administration-approved pharmacologic treatment options. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness and tolerability of loperamide compared with psyllium for reducing fecal incontinence. We hypothesized that psyllium fiber supplementation would be more effective than loperamide for reducing fecal incontinence episodes and have fewer adverse effects. Both loperamide and psyllium improve fecal incontinence. Loperamide was associated with more adverse effects, especially constipation.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014. New treatments for fecal incontinence: Update for the gastroenterologist. Fecal incontinence is one of the most emotionally devastating of all nonfatal conditions. Many patients do not respond satisfactorily to conservative measures and there is a need for new and effective strategies when medical therapy fails. The development of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) and other forms of neuromodulation and the injection of biologically compatible substances into the anal sphincter complex have brought renewed enthusiasm for using these novel treatments in this underserved population. Because injectable bulking agents such as dextranomer in stabilized hyaluronic acid can be administered in an outpatient setting, this procedure is being marketed to both gastroenterologists and surgeons.

Fecal Incontinence cause, why it happens
Fecal Incontinence can occur after damage to the anal sphincter muscles or scarring to the rectum, causing it to be unable to hold stool. Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and some other conditions can cause this scarring to occur. Another contributing factor can be the stretching of the nerves that supply the sphincters, called the pudendal nerves, which can occur with childbirth, old age, trauma, or with medical diseases that affect the nerves, such as diabetes. Without intact nerves to stimulate the sphincters, the sphincters may undergo atrophy. Because of the nature of the condition, people who have fecal incontinence often do not discuss it with their doctors.

Fecal matter definition
Fecal matter is defined as a solid excretion product evacuated from the bowels.

Fecal impaction is a mass of dry, hard stool that can't be eliminated by a normal bowel movement. It often follows an extended period of constipation.

Fecal Coliform
These bacteria are found in the feces of humans and other warm-blooded animals. These bacteria can enter rivers through direct discharge from mammals and birds, from agricultural and storm runoff carrying wastes from birds and mammals, and from human sewage discharge into the water.

Fecal occult blood test detects blood in the stool by placing a small sample of stool on a chemically treated card, pad, or wipe; then a chemical developer solution is put on top of the sample. If the card, pad, or cloth turns blue, there is blood in the stool.