Incontinence and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Often Are Related

Incontinence and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Often Are Related

  • On April 11, 2012

According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) in the USA, as many as 70 percent of people suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are not receiving medical care for their symptoms.

IBS symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, and some individuals may experience depression and anxiety. Incontinence also can be an effect of IBS. While diarrhea can contribute to bowel incontinence, constipation can lead to urinary incontinence, because of the pressure put on the bladder by impacted stool. Individuals with IBS may experience temporary or long-term leakage, which can be managed with products made for incontinence.

The good news is, while IBS can cause severe discomfort, it does not permanently harm the intestines or lead to serious diseases like cancer, according to the NDDIC. Often, IBS can be managed through diet, stress reduction and/or medications.

“If you or someone you care for has symptoms of IBS, your doctor will ask for a complete medical history and a detailed description of symptoms, as well as perform a physical exam,” says Dianna Malkowski , a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist. “Before changing your diet, note the foods that worsen your symptoms, then discuss with a doctor and possibly a registered dietitian, who can create an eating plan to gradually increase fibre.”