Controlling your IBD
Depending on the cause of your incontinence, treatment may include
dietary changes, medication, special exercises that help you to
better control your bowels, and/or surgery. Increasing or changing
your medication can also be helpful. Always discuss these options
with your health care professional.
such as loperamide work by altering the muscle activity of the
intestines to slow the movement of bowel contents. Some also
increase water re-uptake from the intestines. These should not be
taken by people with active colitis.
(a cream or gel) like phenylephrine, which increase the tone in the
anal sphincter, can be useful in managing incontinence.
such as sphincter exercise is a means of treating faecal
incontinence which aims to help you strengthen your anal sphincter
muscles and so help to achieve better control.
is a means of bringing symptoms under control. Biofeedback
techniques can be taught to help control and strengthen anal
muscles. These exercises, called Kegel exercises, are evaluated by a
computer which provides feedback such as whether you are performing
the exercises correctly, and whether your muscles are becoming
Surgery to treat faecal incontinence
Surgery is an option with severe disease if medication,
and biofeedback do not help, or if there is injury to the anal
sphincter, anal canal, or pelvic floor. Surgery can repair injury to
the sphincter mechanism, or can help constrict the sphincter using
either your own body tissue or a surgical device. As an alternative,
minor surgery may be possible for rectal prolapse (where the rectum
protrudes through the anus) which means less postoperative pain,
less medication, and more rapid healing when compared with
traditional open surgical techniques
With very severe faecal incontinence, where other treatments do not
help, a colostomy may be performed. This is a surgical procedure
that brings the end of the large intestine through the abdominal
wall so that stools moving through the intestine drain into a bag,
which may be temporarily or permanently attached to the abdomen. A
colostomy will ultimately resolve your incontinence problem, and so
vastly improve your quality of life.
Surgery is usually only needed in cases of severe IBD.