Incontinence is a familiar word. However, when most hear the term “incontinence” they immediately think of urinary incontinence. It’s not surprising; urinary incontinence affects so many people, 25 million in America alone. However, it’s not the only type of incontinence that exists.
Many people also suffer from bowel incontinence. These individuals are unable to control their bowels which can result in a leakage of feces. Also called Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL), this condition is often not medically serious, but can be incredibly uncomfortable, frustrating and embarrassing.
There are many causes of ABL, including but not limited to muscle damage, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nerve damage, impacted school and even conditions like stress or Alzheimer's disease. It is critical that those who suffer from ABL, discuss their issues with their personal physicians. These professionals can help determine the root cause of the incontinence and also help manage its symptoms.
What Can Be Done
That said, there are some steps those who are afflicted with ABL can take to help increase their bowel control. Consider the following suggestions.
What people eat and drink can absolutely affect their ability to control their bowels. First, ensure the availability of a diet rich in fiber . Foods high in fiber include black beens, green peas, and lentils, to name a few. Individuals may be able to make simple substitutions in their diets (whole wheat pasta in place of white flour pasta, for example) to increase their fiber intake. Finally, fiber can be added to a diet through over-the-counter supplements. Basically, a diet high in fiber can help solidify loose stools.
Also, professionals have suggested monitoring diets - begin a food journal. Keep track of what is eaten, when its eaten and the body's response. Specific foods can be irritating to certain people. Sometimes ABL can be improved by simply avoiding foods that cause stomach and bowel upset.
This means water, water, and more water. Drinking enough water each and every day helps with constipation; a cause of ABL. Also, its great for overall health! In general, adults should be consuming between 6 and 8 glasses of water (8 ounces each) a day. Unsure if you are drinking enough - look at the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow. If it’s a darker shade, drink more!
This is also known as “bowel training”. Try to manage bowel movements and have them at the same time each and every day. Many people find that after meals is a good idea. Managing can help regulate timing and ultimately reduce the incidence of accidents.
There are a number of over-the-counter medications that may help decrease incidents of incontinence. While many may be helpful on a one-off basis, prolonged use of any requires medical oversight. Speak with your doctor for recommendations of which may be the most effective for your particular issues.
This intervention, done under the supervision of a physician, can help increase the awareness of the sensations of an expected bowel movement. Recognizing this feeling in advance provides additional time to locate and visit a restroom.
Consider kegel exercises. While designed to strengthen muscles in the pelvis, these can also help improve bowel control.
While these are all excellent suggestions, if you suffer from ongoing bowel incontinence you should absolutely visit your physician and share your symptoms. He or she can provide professional medical advice and counsel regarding your concerns with respect to your overall health. There may be additional medical interventions that can help alleviate the effects of ABL.
Additionally, if you are experiencing these issues or know or care for someone who is, there are a number of products on the market designed to make life just a little bit easier. At LIQUAGUARD® we are proud of the ongoing support we provide to our clients who suffer from all types of incontinence. Our products are designed to help them manage this condition and lead a less stressful, worry-free life. Please visit our website at http://www.liquagaurd.com or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (888) 251-4378. We look forward to helping you select the best products for your needs.