My Own Battle with Fecal Incontinence and What I Found to Help
This is a really touchy subject but today were going to talk about something personal to me my battle with fecal incontinence. This is not one of those things we regularly bring up because it is so embarrassing or for fear of being judged. It's really good to all to talk about this situation so others struggling know they are not alone and can understand why this is happening to them.
Fecal incontinence, or bowel incontinence, is a health condition where you lose control over your bowel movements, leading to unexpected leakage of stool from the rectum. It was a term I hadn't even heard until about two years ago when my journey began.
It all started with an occasional 'accident.' I dismissed it, attributing it to stress or a bad diet. But when the frequency increased, I knew something wasn't right. I felt humiliated, trapped, and scared. The fear of having an accident in public was more than I could handle.
When I got enough courage, I finally looked for medical help. My go-to doctor was very understanding, and through him, I found out that fecal incontinence is not something all that uncommon as I realized. This kind of thing happens to a bunch of people apparently, no matter what the age, more so in older folk but even more so prominent in women.
Why My Fecal Incontinence Could Be Happening
There are several causes of fecal incontinence. In my case, it was attributed to nerve damage. I learned that nerves controlling the rectal and anal muscles could be damaged from childbirth, a severe stroke, or diseases like multiple sclerosis and long-standing diabetes. This damage can reduce the sensation of the need to defecate, leading to incontinence.
However, nerve damage is just one cause. My doctor told me that some other factors like muscle damage could cause fecal incontinence as well. This damage can happen when delivering a baby and or surgery, causing less of an ability to hold your poo within the rectum.
Chronic constipation was another cause I discovered. In these cases, the muscles of the rectum and intestines stretch and eventually weaken, leading to a buildup of hard stool. This can then cause loose stool from the upper intestines to leak around the hard stool, causing incontinence.
Another cause could be diarrhea, which I didn't even consider before. Loose stools are way harder to control than solid ones, so chronic diarrhea gives you fecal incontinence. Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or foods that irritate your stomach can cause frequent diarrhea or, at the very least, increase the risk.
My journey to understanding the causes of fecal incontinence didn't end there. I found out about rectal prolapse. This is how I understood it, when the rectum drops down into your butthole and rectocele. The rectum then pops out in the vagina. Both of these can give you fecal incontinence as to be expected.
One of the last things my doctor mentioned is that some people are born with congenital defects although this is far and few between. This is when the anus or rectum didn't form correctly and causes fecal incontinence. He said this is really uncommon, but it's better to be aware of such things.
The Realization Of Fecal Incontinence
All these reasons that fecal incontinence happens made me realize why this is even an issue, helping me realize that it's not even my fault and I shouldn't be ashamed of it. This understanding made me find the right way to deal with it and make sure I could change my situation. Making life soooo much better.
Fecal incontinence is not just a physical struggle; it's a mental and emotional battle too. But remember, it's okay to reach out, seek help, and talk about it. You're not alone, and there's help available. There's no need to suffer in silence.
What I Did To Tackle My Incontinence Issue
Moving forward, I took this issue head-on. I worked with my healthcare provider to get a better grasp on what I could do. We even talked about different treatment ideas based on why I had fecal incontinence in the first place.
In my case, due to nerve damage, I started with conservative treatments. Changes in my diet was the first step. My dietitian said I should also incorporate more fiber in my diet to make my stools bulkier and easier to hold. I also started drinking more water, so I wouldn't be constipated, which could make my situation worse.
At the same time I also started doing pelvic floor exercises or Kegel exercises. These are specifically designed to strengthen the muscles that hold the rectum and help control bowel movements. At firsty it was hard, but with a lot of practice, I started seeing a difference.
Medication was another part of my treatment plan. I was given anti-diarrheal drugs to make my poo harder and some laxatives so I didnt get constipation. Nerve stimulation therapy was also an option down the road if none of this helped.
I did learn that many people respond differently to treatments. What worked for me might not work for another. You have to have patience, talk with your doctor, and be willing to try different things until one of them clicks, or a combination of things. Incontinence Underwear is a great option to help you mitigate the accidents that may happen in-between treatment options.
I know personally that dealing with fecal incontinence taught me resilience. It got me to find strength in vulnerability and to have empathy for other people dealing with this same health issues. It also taught me how important self-care is and how much I need to listen to my body for what its telling me.
In The End, You Really Need To Understand Your Incontinence
Fecal incontinence is really personal and more than likely will be a challenging journey, but just remember, it's quite alright to talk about it. With some understanding, support, and the right treatment, it's a condition that can be fixed or at least delt with. And with this you can regain your quality of life.
If you are having this same issue, I hope my story helps you and gives you some of comfort. It should at least help you realize that you're not alone. Reach out, seek help, don't let this dumb condition define who you are. After all, we are more than just our struggles. Make sure to check out Moon Time Store for all your incontinence needs, so even you can have a piece of mind while your out and about.