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Fecal Incontinence

It’s a common health condition, but rarely talked about by those affected.

Chronic fecal incontinence (aka, leaking poop, bowel incontinence, overactive bowel) is the loss of bowel control. It affects 1 in 12 American adults. The good news is treatments are available.

Contact our team today at (217) 466-4033.

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Causes of fecal incontinence

  • Ongoing constipation
  • Long-term laxative use
  • Bowel surgery
  • Severe hemorrhoids
  • Nerve or muscle damage
  • Emotional problems

Symptoms of fecal incontinence

  • Frequent bowel accidents
  • Inability to resist the urge to go
  • Inability to feel when you need to go
  • Planning activities around the bathroom
  • Monitoring what and how much you eat

Lifestyle changes

Conservative treatments can help some people, but may not work for others. These include dietary modification, bowel behavioral therapy, and medications.

Other options

If more conservative treatments are ineffective, a medical procedure can be performed. The procedure is done by a Horizon Health general surgeon. Patients can trial this solution, and if need be, have the procedure reversed without harm.

Sacral Nerve Stimulation – Like a pacemaker for the heart, a sacral nerve stimulator acts as a pacemaker for the bowel. This implanted device delivers mild electrical pulses to stimulate the sacral nerves and helps manage bowel incontinence symptoms.

Learn about Medtronic’s InterStim system.

Download our bowel symptom diary and bring it with you to your doctor's appointment.

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