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“Incontinence” is the word used to describe loss of control over when and where we go to the bathroom. Bowel incontinence occurs when the loss of control of gas, liquid stool, or solid stool is enough to cause discomfort or distress. Incontinence is a sign that something is wrong – some part of the bowel control system is not working as it should.
Bowel incontinence is the involuntary or accidental leakage of liquid or solid stool. It is long-term (chronic) and unpredictable, and can be caused by many conditions.
Bowel incontinence is a chronic, stressful, and limiting disorder. Treatment for incontinence should begin with attention to how you manage and what effect incontinence has on your daily life. Attention then can turn toward ways to minimize or contain incontinence.
Incontinence affects people of all ages. It is not easily talked about and can lead to isolation or a sense of helplessness. But there is hope. A sense of freedom and of being in control comes with having an individualized bowel management program and with being prepared to deal with an episode of incontinence.