Do you have accidental bowel leakage? Do you feel anxious about social situations because you never know if you are going to leak? Accidental bowel leakage or ABL impacts millions of Americans, but is not often talked about.
In fact, for many of those with ABL, treatment of underlying conditions or diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and celiac, can help to reduce or eliminate ABL symptoms.
People with diabetes, celiac, and other health concerns commonly experience problems with controlling their bladder and bowel. This can interfere with work, social life, and personal and sexual relationships.
Let’s talk about how these health conditions can impact ABL, and what can be done to reduce symptoms and manage ABL.
Often those with conditions such as Type 2 diabetes suffer from obesity. This can increase the risk factor for bowel incontinence. The pelvic floor muscles, which control the bladder and bowel are often put under too great of strain, as they must support most of your body weight, and this can stretch and weaken them, leading to leakage.
Various disease and conditions, such as poorly controlled diabetes can lead to nerve damage, called neuropathy, particularly in the feet. But it can also occur in the bladder and bowel. This means the bowel loses sensation, and thus there is less warning or urge to go. This can also mean poor emptying of the bowel due to lack of awareness. This can cause constipation, accidents, damage to the muscles, and more.
The immune system can be compromised by the aforementioned conditions and diseases, which can lead to infections that cause problems like UTIs, which can cause irritation and incontinence.
As you can see, health plays a role in ABL, and improving and treating the conditions or diseases can help to reduce ABL symptoms. Here are five things those suffering diabetes, obesity, or celiac can do to gain better control over their bowels.
- Eat well: A diet that is high in fiber encourages proper bowel movement. A healthier diet can reduce can reduce some of the contributing factors to ABL, and thus reduce the likelihood of ABL occurance.
- Drink enough: Not enough fluids can lead to constipation, which can damage and stretch pelvic muscles and lead to ABL. Drink plenty of fluids, but try to stick to water and limit caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.
- Get some exercise: Exercise regularly, as this will not only help combat obesity, but promote healthy bowels. Exercise the pelvic floor muscles. Doing Kegel exercises and pinpointing the muscles that control the bowel can help to reduce symptoms.
- Practice good toilet habits: Go when you need to, don’t hold it. Get on a schedule if you can. Do not go “just in case” as this can be bad training for the bowel and bladder.
- Manage with absorbent products: While treating the conditions leading to ABL, it is key to also manage the symptoms of ABL in order to lead a life of normalcy and dignity. B-Sure Absorbent Pads are a great option for light to moderate ABL. They have a unique design for comfortable fit, and offer protection you can count on. You can search the variety of absorbent products in stores or online to find the one that best meets your needs.
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.