The Underlying Causes of ABL

A look at some of the underlying causes of ABL.
Have you ever had a problem? A medical condition? Or just a bad situation and wondered why me? It is human nature to think bad or inconvenient or inopportune things can’t happen to us, and then wonder why they do. If you have accidental bowel leakage, ABL, you might be asking yourself why?

ABL is the accidental passage of stool or mucus from the rectum. While common, with 20% of women over 40 experiencing symptoms, and men showing a similar number, it is often not talked about. It is an embarrassing condition that most people prefer to ignore or pretend does not exist. However, identifying the cause of ABL can help to identify the solution. Often ABL is a symptom of another condition, and treating the underlying condition can improve, correct, or even cure the ABL.

So ask why you? Figure out what is causing your light to moderate ABL, and what you can do about it.

Let’s take a look at some of the underlying causes of ABL. There are many factors that can lead to the discomfort and leakage from the rectum, some of the more common include:

  • Gall bladder removal
  • Prostate surgery or therapy
  • Childbirth
  • Being overweight
  • IBS or functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Smoking
  • Having a disease that impacts the nervous system (MS, Diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, etc. )
  • Age
  • Menopause
  • Having urinary incontinence
  • Physical injury to the rectal area (Could occur during surgery, radiation, childbirth, etc. )
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or Ulcerative colitis)
  • Reduced physical mobility
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
ABL may be a result of a weakened, stretched, or damaged rectal area. If the pelvic muscles or the muscles controlling the sphincter are damaged or aren’t strong, this could cause leakage. Damage can occur in a number of ways, from prostate treatments to surgery to childbirth. However, it can also be caused by things like being overweight, as there may be too much weight and pressure on those muscles. Smoking has a similar impact, as a chronic smoker’s cough may cause damage and weakening of the pelvic muscles. When the nervous system is compromised, this too can lead to ABL, as the body may not get the signal when it needs to eliminate.

Treating the underlying causes and managing the symptoms can help you to lead a normal life with ABL. Without the proper absorbent products, symptom management can be a challenge. There are many products designed for urinary incontinence, but choices are more limited for ABL. Fortunately, there are some products that are low profile, comfortable, and offer the needed protection for light to moderate ABL. One such product is the B-Sure Absorbent Pad. It is designed in a unique butterfly shape to fit comfortably and stay in place. It can hold up to 13 times its weight in fluid, is easy to dispose of (Flushable in non-septic sewage), and is an affordable solution for symptom management.

The B-Sure Absorbent Pad is a good choice for discreet and effective protection for light ABL.

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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