Fecal incontinence is a challenging condition because a lot of people feel ashamed about reaching out for help. When you struggle with this issue, the last thing you may want is to meet with your doctor to discuss how you struggle with incontinence. It's important, however, to seek medical care because this is the first step toward finding a solution for your incontinence. If this condition is affecting your life in several ways — including limiting the time that you spend with friends because you're afraid of having an embarrassing accident — getting help is a must. The treatment method that your doctor chooses will often depend on the reason that you're incontinent. Here are three potential causes of this issue.
People can develop hemorrhoids for all sorts of reasons. This anal condition can result in itching and overall discomfort, but another problem that it can often cause is fecal incontinence. This is especially possible with a severe case of hemorrhoids. Excess swelling of the veins around the opening of your anus will prevent the sphincter muscle from closing fully. This means that a small amount of fecal matter is able to escape your body, even if you're doing your best to clench your anus.
Even if there's nothing structurally wrong with your anal region, it's possible to experience fecal incontinence at various times. Those who suffer from various digestive issues can often struggle with incontinence. For example, you could have a health condition that often causes you to have diarrhea. Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions can often result in chronic diarrhea. It can be more difficult to hold diarrhea in than a well-formed stool, which can put you at a higher risk of experiencing incontinence issues.
Some people have fecal incontinence that results from nerve damage in this part of the body. Nerve damage can occur for all sorts of reasons, including certain medical conditions and various injuries that haven't healed right. When your nerves aren't working properly, it can sometimes be difficult to know that you need to go to the bathroom. This may cause you to have an accident before you realize that you indeed need to move your bowels.
Regardless of the reason for your incontinence issue, there are various forms of treatment that can help. Contact your family doctor to learn more about what treatment options are available for fecal incontinence.