Bowel incontinence is an invisible disability that is often not discussed due to its personal nature. Although bowel incontinence can be embarrassing, it is still important to shed light on the condition and try and bring help and relief to those dealing with it.
Can bowel incontinence be “cured” with diet?
We can’t say whether or not diet can cure bowel incontinence. To be sure, different people respond to different treatments, and we are not here to give medical advice.
However, we do want to educate our readers about different treatments that may help their conditions. And diet is one form of treatment for bowel incontinence that has proven helpful to some people who have this invisible disability.
Quick tips for eating to relieve bowel incontinence:
– Keep a food journal – Keep a diary of what you eat and try to link certain foods to certain bowel issues. This will not only help you reduce the foods that bother you, this journal could come in handy if you visit a doctor about your condition.
– Avoid “diarrhea-inducing foods” – These foods could include dairy, fattening food, spicy food, and smoked/cured meat.
– Get fibre right - Shoot for between 20 and 30 grams of fibre per day. “Both consuming too much and too little fiber can contribute to incontinence.”
– Avoid certain drinks - “You should avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, which can cause the internal sphincter muscles to relax and contribute to incontinence.”
– Drink water – Aim for 8 glasses per day.
– “Eat smaller meals” – Larger meals have the ability to “trigger bowel contractions”–smaller meals may not do this as readily. If you try this, you don’t have to cut down on calories; just eat a few small meals as opposed to 3 large ones.
Exercises that may help with bowel incontinence.
Have you heard of Kegel exercises? They may help with bowel incontinence. Please see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fecal-incontinence/DS00477/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies and http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003975.htm to learn more about these exercises.
If you think you have bowel incontinence, the best thing you can do is talk to a doctor. Thousands of Canadians have this invisible disability, so don’t feel like you are the only one dealing with it. It’s likely your doctor has heard your exact same complaints over and over–don’t let embarrassment keep you from living a life free of bowel incontinence.
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
Did you ever consider bowel incontinence a disabling condition?
In what ways do you think bowel incontinence could be disabling?