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Fecal Incontinence, Foods To Avoid

September 15, 2022

If you experience fecal incontinence, you regularly lose control over your bowels. This can happen if you cannot reach the toilet in time for a bowel movement or if stool leaks. Fecal incontinence can be triggered by constipation, diarrhea, emotional stress, or nerve and muscle damage (including damage sustained during childbirth). A proper diet can help reduce symptoms of fecal incontinence.

Fecal incontinence can be reduced by what you eat. Your diet may help you with fecal incontinence, depending on the cause.

If you have fecal incontinence, what should you eat?

A healthy diet is essential for your overall well-being. Consult your doctor or registered dietitian to create a plan that fits your individual needs.

If you’re struggling with fecal incontinence, boosting your fiber and liquid intake may help alleviate your symptoms. Check-in with your doctor or a dietitian to see how much of each is right for you.

The foods you eat affect how often you have to go to the bathroom. Minor tweaks like adding fiber or avoiding problem foods can make all the difference.

Many people who suffer from fecal incontinence do not speak about it, so the number of sufferers is unknown. However, available evidence suggests that the condition—which results in an involuntary release of gas or stool—usually begins sometime during one’s 40s or 50s.

You don’t have to live with incontinence if you don’t want to; there are treatment alternatives, including dietary adjustments, bowel training regimens, and surgery for specific individuals.

The foods you eat affect how often you have to go to the bathroom. Minor tweaks like adding fiber or avoiding problem foods can make all the difference.

 

Why fiber may be necessary when treating fecal incontinence

 

Fiber can help with constipation. Fiber may help “normalize” bowel function by encouraging the formation of formed but soft stools. Food is preferable since it is more easily obtained. Bran cereals, uncooked fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread and pasta, and brown rice are all excellent sources of dietary fiber.

Fiber supplements, on the other hand, can assist. If you take one, keep in mind that you’ll need to drink a lot of water with it to avoid constipation. Surprisingly, consuming large quantities of fluid and fiber supplements helps alleviate diarrhea. The fiber absorbs moisture and prevents stool from leaking out.

 

Finding Diarrhea Control

 

The following foods are often associated with loose stools. If you think one of them might cause your diarrhea, try eliminating or reducing your intake of that food for a few days to see if there is any improvement.

    • cured or smoked meats
    • alcohol
    • spicy foods
    • caffeine
    • fatty and greasy foods
    • sweeteners (sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, fructose)
    • dairy products

Constipation Management

 

If constipation is responsible for your fecal incontinence, your doctor may recommend various treatments to help train your bowels to have regular movements. Increasing your fiber and fluid intake and employing multiple stimuli (such as a warm drink or an enema) to prompt a bowel movement at specific intervals are two options.

 

Biofeedback & Pelvic Muscle Exercises

 

Pelvic muscle training is ineffective in the treatment of fecal incontinence in several studies. However, exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles are worth trying for those with mild incontinence.

Another treatment strategy for fecal incontinence is biofeedback. The objective of this therapy is to strengthen the sphincter muscles. Several reports claim that it might be beneficial. However, no controlled studies have compared its efficacy to no treatment yet.

Some people with fecal incontinence require surgery. Your doctor can help you decide whether surgery is necessary and which procedure makes the most sense.

 

What to avoid eating if you have fecal incontinence?

 

Certain foods can worsen your symptoms if you have fecal incontinence due to diarrhea. You should avoid these trigger foods:

  • alcohol
  • caffeine products
  • dairy products
  • fatty & greasy foods
  • drinks & foods incorporating fructose
  • fruits such as apples, peaches, and pears
  • spicy meals
  • products with sweeteners

After a few days of tracking everything you eat and drink in a food diary, it may become apparent which items are causing your fecal incontinence. Once you identify these problem foods and beverages, avoid them to experience an improvement in symptoms.

 

Gastro Florida Can Help You With Fecal Incontinence

Gastro Florida’s team of expert specialists is here to help. Set up an appointment to be examined, diagnosed, and treated; our objective is to serve and support you in maintaining your gut health.