Common causes of bowel incontinence leakages
Bowel incontinence also called fecal incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements, causing stool to leak unexpectedly from the rectum. Bowel incontinence can vary in severity from passing a small amount of feces when breaking wind to total loss of bowel control. It is not life-threatening or hazardous condition, but it can affect the person’s quality of life, emotional, mental health and self-esteem. In this article we are going to look at common causes of bowel incontinence leakages.
1. Chronic laxative abuse
Laxatives are medicines used to treat constipation by softening the stools to make passage easier, or by stimulating the lower intestine muscles to push out the stool. The overuse of laxatives can lead to electrolyte disturbances, dehydration and mineral deficiencies. Laxative abuse can also lead to long-term and potentially permanent damage to the digestive system nerves and muscles that control bowel movement. When loss of control is experience the out-come is bowel leakage.
2. Nerve damage
Childbirth, constant straining during bowel movements, spinal cord injury or stroke are among the conditions that can leads to rectal nerves damage. Injury to this nerves that sense stool in the rectum or those that control the anal sphincter can lead to fecal incontinence. Some diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, also can affect these nerves causing damage that leads to fecal incontinence.
3. Gynecological, prostate or rectal surgery
Surgery to treat enlarged veins in the rectum or anus (hemorrhoids), as well as more-complex operations involving gynecological issues or male prostate surgery involving the rectum and anus, can cause muscle and nerve damage. When the nerve and muscle damage occur it lead to uncontrolled bowel movement that leads to fecal incontinence leakages.
Chronic constipation may cause nerve and muscles damage that leads to formation of dry, hard mass of stool (impacted stool) to form in the rectum and become too large to pass. The muscles of the rectum and intestines stretch and causes a weakening of anus and intestines muscle, allowing watery stool from farther up the digestive tract to move around the impacted stool and leak out.
5. Rectal prolapse.
Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum drops down into the anus. When this happens fecal incontinence can be experience leading to loose of bowel control.
6. Severe Diarrhea
Solid stool is easier to retain in the rectum than when it is loose stool, so the loose stools of diarrhea can cause or worsen fecal incontinence.
Hemorrhoid occurs when the veins in your rectum swell. This swelling keeps your anus from closing completely, leading to leakage of stool out.
8. Anal sphincter muscle damage
Injury to the rings of muscle at the end of the rectum (anal sphincter) make it weak and difficult to hold stool back properly. This kind of damage can occur during childbirth, especially if you have an episiotomy or a traumatic condition that damages this muscles. Damage to this muscle lead to fecal leakage.