Fecal Incontinence

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control the bowels. This may range from a small leak when passing gas, to a complete loss of bowel control. The accidental leakage can be solid or liquid or mucus. Mucus is a clear liquid that coats and protects the lining of the digestive system. This leakage is unexpected with no warning and is also called bowel incontinence.

Bowel incontinence can have many causes, and while it may be embarrassing to discuss, there is treatment that will help. A gastroenterologist will take a patient’s medical history and do a physical exam. It may help to keep a food diary to determine if you have any dietary triggers and discuss this with your doctors. Causes of bowel incontinence include both chronic diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, nerve damage, muscle damage or weakness, and inactivity. Your doctor may order additional testing depending on the results of the exam.

Treatment depends on the cause of each individual case. Treatment possibilities include change of diet, bowel training, pelvic floor exercise, and surgery. The key is to seek help and make an appointment with Dr. Islam to discuss your symptoms. 

Fecal incontinence in children, absent of known birth defects, is normally caused by constipation and holding on to bowel movements. If your child is having trouble with bowel leakage, you should report the problem to your pediatrician.