Fecal Incontinence

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Fecal incontinence refers to the inability to hold feces (stool) in the rectum. This is typically due to failure of voluntary control over the anal sphincters, permitting untimely passage of feces and gas. Fecal incontinence is also known as rectal incontinence or bowel incontinence. Fecal incontinence is not a disease itself but is a symptom that can occur as a result of different kinds of diseases or injuries. Incontinence of stool can result from damage to the nerves or muscles of the rectum and anus, or conditions affecting the intestines. Overflow incontinence, also known as paradoxical diarrhea, occurs in people with chronic constipation when stool fills the rectum, hardens, and becomes impacted. Liquid stool then may leak around the fecal mass, producing symptoms similar to incontinence.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/8/2014

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REFERENCE:

Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

Main Article on Fecal Incontinence
  • Fecal Incontinence Bowel or fecal incontinence refers to the loss of voluntary control of stool, or bowel movements. The condition can include...learn more »

    Terms related to Fecal Incontinence:

    • Bowel Incontinence
    • Rectal Incontinence
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Other Causes of Fecal Incontinence
  • Anal or Rectal Surgery
  • Laxative Abuse
  • Paradoxical Diarrhea
  • Parasitic Infections
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Rectal Prolapse
  • Rectocele
  • Trauma From Childbirth
Examples of Medications for Fecal Incontinence


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