Bowel incontinence home remedies

Here are some home remedies that may help manage bowel incontinence:

  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve bowel function and reduce incontinence.
  • Try over-the-counter products: Products such as bulk-forming laxatives or stool softeners may help manage incontinence.
  • Practice pelvic floor muscle exercises: Strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor can help improve bowel control. Kegel exercises, in which you tighten and relax the muscles of the pelvic floor, are a simple way to do this.
  • Wear absorbent pads: If you experience frequent incontinence, wearing absorbent pads can help protect your clothing and skin.

Dietary changes

You may be able to gain better control of your bowel movements by:

  • Keeping track of what you eat. What you eat and drink affects the consistency of your stools. Make a list of what you eat for a few days. You may discover a connection between certain foods and your bouts of incontinence. Once you’ve identified problem foods, stop eating them and see if your incontinence improves. Foods can cause diarrhea or gas and worsen fecal incontinence. Common culprits include spicy foods, fatty and greasy foods, and dairy products. Caffeine-containing beverages and alcohol also can act as laxatives. Other foods that have a laxative effect include sugar-free gum and diet soda, which contain artificial sweeteners.
  • Getting adequate fiber. If constipation is causing fecal incontinence, your doctor may recommend eating fiber-rich foods. Fiber helps make stool soft and easier to control. If diarrhea is contributing to the problem, high-fiber foods also can add bulk to your stools and make them less watery.Fiber is predominately present in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals. Aim for 25 grams (0.9 ounces) of fiber a day or more. But don’t add it to your diet all at once. Too much fiber suddenly can cause uncomfortable bloating and gas.
  • Drink more water. To keep stools soft and formed, drink at least eight glasses of liquid, preferably water, a day.

Skin care

You can help avoid further discomfort from fecal incontinence by keeping the skin around your anus as clean and dry as possible. To relieve anal discomfort and eliminate any possible odor associated with fecal incontinence:

  • Wash with water. Gently wash the area with water after each bowel movement. Showering or soaking in a bath also may help.Soap can dry and irritate the skin. So can rubbing with dry toilet paper. Try using premoistened, alcohol-free, perfume-free towelettes or wipes.
  • Use moist toilet tissue: Using moist toilet tissue can be gentler on the skin and help prevent irritation, which can lead to incontinence.
  • Dry thoroughly. Allow the area to air-dry, if possible. If you’re short on time, you can gently pat the area dry with toilet paper or a clean washcloth.
  • Apply a cream or powder. Moisture-barrier creams help keep irritated skin from having direct contact with feces. Be sure the area is clean and dry before you apply any cream. Nonmedicated talcum powder or cornstarch also may help relieve anal discomfort.
  • Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing. Tight clothing can restrict airflow, making skin problems worse. Change soiled underwear quickly.

Take Away

You may feel reluctant to leave your house because you’re concerned about making it to a toilet in time. To overcome that thought, try these practical tips:

  • Use the toilet right before you go out.
  • If you expect you’ll be incontinent, wear a pad or a disposable undergarment.
  • Carry supplies for cleaning up and a change of clothing with you.
  • Know where toilets are located before you need them. This can help you get to them quickly.
  • Use nonprescription pills to reduce the smell of stool and gas. These are known as fecal deodorants.

Because fecal incontinence can be distressing, it’s important to take steps to deal with it. Treatment can help improve your quality of life and raise your self-esteem.