Incontinence is a common problem, but fewer than 40% of individuals seek medical advice. Remember to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. In many cases, incontinence can be cured and it can always be managed.
Loss of Bowel Control in the elderly can be isolating condition, however it can be managed by improving diet and getting some daily exercise.
Bowel Incontinence is often caused by one or more of the following:
- Constipation – this is the biggest cause of loss of bowel control in the elderly.
- Diarrhoea, due to chronic diseases of the bowel, such as Crohns diseases, Diverticulitis, or inflammatory bowel disease. Or due to medications, radiotherapy, alcohol, infection or some food allergies.
- Social and mobility issues such as inability to reach the toilet due to poor mobility, cognitive deficit or poor communication skills.
- Neurological Impairment associated with neurological diseases such as Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinsons disease. The nerve supply to the bowel can also damaged due to Diabetes, spinal chord injuries, tumors or radiation therapy.
- Structural sphincter damage following injury, surgery or complicated childbirth.
- Other causes may include Cancer, Rectal prolapse, Anal Fissure or Haemorrhoids
Improving regularity by eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water and participating in regular exercise can make a big difference in helping to improve bowel control. You may also need to look at mobility issues and make sure there is easy access to the toilet and sufficient privacy.