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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bowel Incontinence

The excellent writer Christian Nordqvist of Medical News Today seems to come up a topic every month that is of useful interest to our needs. In July it was diarrhea and in August he covered sugars and carbohydrates.

This month he covers topic that few want to think about much less talk about in public, bowel or fecal incontinence.

Bowel incontinence, also known as fecal (UK: faecal) incontinence, is an inability to control bowel movements. The person's stools (feces) leak from the rectum uncontrollably. Bowel incontinence can vary in severity from passing a small amount of feces when breaking wind, to total loss of bowel control.

Bowel incontinence is a sign or symptom of a condition or disease; it is not a condition or disease in itself. Generally, bowel incontinence is not life-threatening and does not impact negatively on the patient's health. However, the sufferer's quality of life, emotional and mental health, as well as self-esteem can be affected.

Lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or a number of other intestinal disorders can cause this. So can a bewildering variety of diseases, disorders, syndromes, and deformities.

Because there are so many possible causes, diagnoses and corrective treatments vary just as much. I'd suggest reading Nordqvist's article to see if something there covers your problem.

And be reassured that you are not alone and this is not a rare condition. He estimates that one to two percent of the American population suffers from it, and since the elderly are more likely to have it, the condition will become more common in the future.

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