Definition

Fecal Incontinence is the inability to control the passage of stool or gas from the anus.  It is more of a problem if the stool is too loose.  

Causes

The most common cause is childbirth injuries, though there are other causes.  This problem affects more women than men, and it more prevalent as people get older.  

Symptoms

Some people have mild trouble controlling gas whereas others have severe loss of control of liquid and formed stools.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If applicable, any underlying problem(s) is corrected first. If the underlying cause is a medical illness, such as inflammation of the bowel, infection, or irritable bowel syndrome, medication may be prescribed. Diarrhea and constipation are treated with dietary changes, usually emphasizing a high-fiber diet. If incontinence continues despite these changes, there are multiple treatment options.  Colorectal surgeons are specially trained physicians who frequently care for this problem.

Visit the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website for more information