You can get help
Accidental bowel leakage (which your doctor may also call fecal incontinence) is not a normal part of aging. It is a medical problem, and most people can get some relief
with the right treatment. Simply knowing more about your particular condition can give you a better sense of
control. The first step is to talk to your doctor.
A doctor can usually make a diagnosis based on a physical exam, your medical history, and tests that will
provide better insight about your condition. The tests can be completed during an outpatient visit.
Tests to diagnose fecal incontinence may include
- Manometry. This is a test that checks the tightness of your anal muscles. They may be too weak to function
- Anorectal ultrasound. This test checks the structure of your muscles. There may be something wrong,
causing them not to work
- Stool tests. These tests check to see if there’s a reason for diarrhea (such as infection)
- Sigmoidoscopy. A camera fitted into a thin tube is used to see if there are problems such as tumors,
inflammation, or scar tissue in the rectum or colon
- DRE (digital rectal exam). This physical exam is used to identify patients with fecal impaction and overflow
Fecal incontinence can be treated. Talk to your doctor today.
Read more about accidental bowel leakage, how your bowels work, the causes of fecal incontinence, and the
available treatment options.