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Fecal Incontinence – Treatment

January 30, 2021


The treatment of fecal incontinence is geared towards improving the quality of life. Fecal incontinence itself is not dangerous, but can certainly affect people’s quality of life. The first course of action is improving dietary habits and increasing fiber in the diet or adding fiber supplementation. It is often useful to consult a nutritionist who may help determine if there are dietary factors that may trigger symptoms and allow you to avoid certain foods that may improve overall fecal incontinence. If diet does not work in itself, often people will take occasional over-the-counter or prescribed antidiarrheals to see if that helps the condition. A very well validated treatment of fecal incontinence is something called biofeedback therapy. This is a therapy typically produced or performed by pelvic floor physical therapist and would strengthen the pelvic floor muscles in order to improve evacuation and decrease the amount of fecal incontinence. There is a new FDA device that has been just recently approved to help patients with this process at home, and may be an alternative for those who cannot be involved in a pelvic floor program. Finally, if these conservative measures do not help, there are other techniques to discuss with your physician. These include things like sacral nerve stimulation, injecting an agent called Dextromer in the anal canal, or in very rare and severe cases, surgery. But these are all best discussed with your physician and geared to what is best for patients in particular.

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