Fibre supplements can help with faecal incontinence
Posted May 28 2012 6:39am
If you are one of the thousands of people who experience faecal , or bowel, incontinence at some point you are not alone. Some studies have found that 10 per cent or more of adults experience this condition, and there are many things you can do to prevent it.
If your bowel movements tend to be loose and watery, and come frequently, you may find that it’s worth considering some changes to your diet. For example, specific foods may be triggering your diarrhoea. Try cutting out or reducing these common triggers:
· cured or smoked meats
· spicy foods
· fatty and greasy foods
· dairy products
· sweeteners such as sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol and fructose (found in many diet drinks, fruit drinks, sugarless gums and candies).
It might also be worth considering taking a daily fibre supplement. This can be a simple but effective way to reduce faecal leakage. Over-the-counter products can be found most pharmacies, some of these dissolve more completely in liquids and are tasteless so can be added to any hot or cold liquid you drink — and you won’t know they’re there.
Drink plenty of liquid with the supplement to help control diarrhoea, the fibre absorbs the water and prevents leakage of watery stool.
Medications being taken could also be contributing to your diarrhoea and incontinence so it’s important to discuss all of your medications with your doctor. Your doctor may suggest an anti-diarrhoeal medicine. Loperamide (Imodium) has the added benefit of increasing muscle tone in the internal anal sphincter.
You can further strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor, including the anal sphincters, with specific exercises. Biofeedback can help you learn to do the exercises correctly. Biofeedback can also improve your ability to sense the presence of stool in your rectum. This, in turn, may allow you to get to a bathroom before the situation becomes desperate.
Talk to your doctor about which of these treatments might work best for you.