Constipation-Related Incontinence: Strategies to Manage It

by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist
Add fiber to your diet.

Constipation can cause urinary or fecal incontinence as impacted stool puts pressure on the bladder and weakens rectal and intestinal muscles. Strategies for managing constipation-related incontinence include dietary changes and using products that keep skin dry and healthy.

Incontinence caused by constipation can affect individuals of all ages. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers recently published a study in the journal Urology that found constipation often is a cause of bedwetting in children. Laxative therapy cured 83 percent of the children and adolescents studied within three months, says HealthDay News in a Feb. 6 article published in U.S. News & World Report.

Constipation is one of the more easily treatable, temporary medical causes of urinary or fecal incontinence. Here are tips for managing constipation-related incontinence:
  •  Ask  your doctor how much water to drink. Drinking water helps prevent constipation, but too much can cause frequent urination.
  • Eat more fiber to help soften stool and improve digestion. Foods rich in insoluble fiber include vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans and berries.
  • Avoid food and beverages that can cause bowel irritation, which may include spicy or oily foods, alcohol, caffeine, and dairy products for the lactose-intolerant.
  • A health care provider may suggest medications, stool softeners, laxatives, or enemas to loosen impacted stool.
  • Use quality incontinence products made from advanced, absorbent materials that keep urine and stool away from skin.
  • Follow a proper skin care regimen, which includes cleansing, moisturizing and protecting, to keep skin healthy and prevent infection. 

For further reading:

                                     What the video:  How to choose the right incontinence product

Dianna Malkowski is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic-trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisors for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question, or for one-on-one help with incontinence products, call 1-800-985-1353 M-F 9-4 CDT.


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