Knowing you're not going to make it to the bathroom is a horrible, dreaded feeling. Most people do experience a bout of diarrhea a couple of times in life, but if you're dealing with fecal incontinence and bowel leakage on a regular basis, this is far from normal. It's important to determine what might be to blame for your issues so you can reclaim your life and stop having to deal with this annoying, embarrassing problem. Here's a look at some likely culprits.
Some diet pills can cause fecal incontinence as a side effect. This happens because the pills prevent your body from absorbing fat, and as a result, the fat travels right through your system. If you recently began taking any diet pills or dietary supplements for weight loss, discontinue taking them and see if your fecal incontinence goes away. You may just have to pursue a different avenue for weight loss or keep a better eye on your fat intake when using these diet pills.
If you were recently in any sort of accident, there is a possibility that you suffered nerve damage, resulting in a lack of control over your anal sphincter. You may not realize that your sphincter is contracting and allowing the feces to pass through without you even feeling it. This type of nerve damage can also result from some types of progressive diseases, like multiple sclerosis. If you're developing any other signs of nerve diseases, like tremors and lack of coordination, be sure to see your doctor promptly.
Usually, bacterial and viral infections cause a few bouts of diarrhea, and then they subside as your body fights off the pathogen. Parasitic infections, however, can go on for months or years without being properly diagnosed, and in the meantime, they can continue to cause digestive problems like fecal incontinence. Giardia and ascarids are two common parasites that can take up residence in the human intestinal tract. Especially if you have recently traveled to a foreign nation where these parasites may be more common, discuss this possibility with your doctor.
Are you also suffering from other symptoms like pain with defecation, blood in your stool, and thin stools? Your problems could be due to colorectal cancer. Your doctor can screen for this disease through a colonoscopy. Early diagnosis is key to a good outcome, so make sure you get checked out sooner rather than later.