Incontinence is group of conditions generally involving the inability to control one’s bladder. However, incontinence can also affect the bowels. Those with bowel incontinence often deal with embarrassment and low self-esteem. They may even isolate themselves at home due to fear of a public accident.
There is hope, however.
Just like with urinary incontinence, treatment is available for bowel incontinence. Before you can know the treatment options available to you, it’s important to understand what is causing your condition.
What Causes Bowel Incontinence?
Bowel incontinence, also known as fecal incontinence, is a condition where someone loses control over their bowel movements, often resulting in accidents. Though it is much more common in older patients, it can affect people of all ages.
As with urinary incontinence, there are a number of factors that can cause bowel incontinence including drug reactions, diarrhea, injury, conditions such as Crohn’s disease, weakened pelvic floor muscles, or abnormal muscular function.
Treating Bowel Incontinence
Treating bowel incontinence can vary depending on a person’s particular situation. Generally, dietary modification, exercises, and bowel retraining are tried first. If those don’t work, both medicinal and surgical options are available. While medications can help, they can also come with their own side effects.
Often, a simple surgical procedure can provide a safer, longer lasting solution for incontinence.
Though InterStim Therapy is generally referred to as a treatment for urinary incontinence, it can also help with certain cases of bowel incontinence. The same nerves that help you control your bladder also help you control your bowels. When those nerves start to falter, you can lose control over either (or both).
InterStim Therapy works by implanting a small device in your body near these nerves. The device then sends out small electronic pulses, fixing the disconnect between your brain and your bowels. The settings of the device can easily be adjusted via a handheld controller or through an app on a smart device.
Recently, the InterStim Micro was introduced. Though it works the same as the traditional InterStim device, it’s 80% smaller, and it can be recharged from the comfort of your own home. While the regular InterStim device needs its battery replaced every 5 years, the InterStim Micro can last 15.
To learn if the InterStim system is right for your situation, you’ll need to meet with a urologist. However, you might first need to see a gastroenterologist (GI). They’ll be able to properly screen and diagnose your condition and help you find a urologist. Should you need a urologist in Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding communities, contact Urology Specialists of Ohio today!