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Dr.David, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7192
Experience:  Internal Medicine Specialist,MBBS
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Is relaxation of the sphincter muscle of the anus a common

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Is relaxation of the sphincter muscle of the anus a common ailment of the elderly; this allows small quantities of fecal material to be released occasionally spotting underclothing?
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Yes,the symptoms you are having is because of a condition called fecal incontinence.It is very common in elderly people.Its most common causes are:Severe diarrhea,Stress,Damage to the nerves that control the anal muscle,reduction in the elasticity of the rectum, Inflammatory bowel disease.It is more common in elderly age as the there is reduction in the elasticity of the rectum.History of constipation is another common cause.It causes the muscles of the anus and intestines to stretch and weaken.Irritable bowel syndrome is the other common cause.

You need following tests:anal manometry,proctography,anal electromyography tests for nerve damage and see your doctor for the clinical examination.If the anal muscles are weak,injections of ‘bulking agents' into the wall of the anus may help.Treatment includes medications,dietary changes,bowel training.

Exact diagnosis can only be made after physical & clinical examination.So I advice you to make an appointment with your doctor for these tests & examination to know the exact cause & then treatment will be done accordingly.

Please feel free to ask if you have any other question.

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