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Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Fecal Incontinence

Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Fecal Incontinence

The inability to control the bowels, or fecal incontinence, is a condition that’s more common in older people and women who’ve given birth. It can be temporary or recurring and adversely affect your social and personal life.

At their offices in Hudson and Wellesley, Massachusetts, Dr. Neeraj Kohli and the skilled medical team at BostonUrogyn treat a variety of urogynecological problems affecting women, including fecal incontinence.

At BostonUrogyn, treatment options for fecal incontinence include medications and Axonics Therapy. But Dr. Kohli also wants you to know that dietary changes can help you manage this uncomfortable, often embarrassing condition. 

Causes of fecal incontinence

There are two kinds of fecal incontinence. With urge incontinence, people can’t control the impulse to defecate and aren’t able to get to the bathroom in time. With passive incontinence, they’re unaware of the need to defecate, yet do so anyway.

Either variation of the problem can be caused by:

A rectocele, when the rectum protrudes through the vagina, can cause fecal incontinence. Anything that puts pressure on the wall between the rectum and vagina, such as childbirth, can cause a rectocele.

Dietary changes that help with fecal incontinence

First, it helps to know what foods to avoid when dealing with fecal incontinence to keep the problem from getting worse. 

You should reduce the amount of alcohol you consume and go easy on dairy products, greasy foods, caffeine, spicy foods, tobacco, candy, gum, and foods high in fructose.

Dietary habits to adopt can vary depending on whether your fecal incontinence is due to constipation, diarrhea, or other causes. 

High-fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, can help make bowel movements easier if your incontinence is related to constipation or hemorrhoids.

People dealing with diarrhea-related incontinence should follow a diet that limits high-fiber foods and instead eat foods that put less stress on your digestive tract, like potatoes, chicken, lean meats, and yogurt. 

Eating small, frequent meals can help. And be sure to keep a food diary to monitor the effects of specific foods on your body. Also, drink plenty of fluids and get regular exercise.

If fecal incontinence is hurting your quality of life and dietary and lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient to manage the problem, Dr. Kohli and the team at BostonUrogyn can help. Call the office nearest you today or book your appointment online.

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