Bowel tract

Risk factors that may lead to bowel incontinence

Bowel incontinence risk factors.

Fecal incontinence is commonly defined as the involuntary loss of solid or liquid feces or mucus and definitions can include consistency of stool and frequency of occurrence. In article we are looking at a number of factors that may increase your risk of developing fecal incontinence

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.


Although fecal incontinence can occur at any age, it’s more common in adults over 65.This because as one ages the rectum sphincter muscle are weaker compered to youthful age.

Being female.

Fecal incontinence can be a complication of childbirth. When women give birth to babies or undergoes mutilation involving the rectum and anus, they can develop muscle and nerve damage. When the nerve and muscle damage occur it lead to uncontrolled bowel movement that leads to fecal incontinence leakages .Recent research has also found that women who take menopausal hormone replacement therapy are more likely to have fecal incontinence.

Nerve damage.

Some diseases, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, can affect nerves causing nerve damage that leads to fecal incontinence rick. People who have long-standing diabetes or multiple sclerosis conditions may be at risk of fecal incontinence. Childbirth, constant straining during bowel movements, spinal cord injury or stroke are among the conditions that can also 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.


Dementia is the loss of mental ability to cognitive functioning of thinking, remembering, reasoning and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. These functions include memory, language skills, visual perception, problem solving, self-management, and the ability to focus and pay attention. Fecal incontinence is often present in late-stage and dementia.

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

Physical disability.

Physically impairment, especially mobility disabled may make it difficult to reach a toilet in time. An injury that caused a physical disability also may cause rectal nerve damage, leading to fecal incontinence.


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