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Deborah, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience:  Registered NP - Multispeciality
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My stool is so soft (not dirrhea) that when I cough, sneeze

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My stool is so soft (not dirrhea) that when I cough, sneeze some stool comes out. Thereby making cleaning up difficult along with the area becoming extremely irritated. It's like having irritable bowel with a twist. It makes being out and about difficult. This situation has been going on for about 5 weeks. I know there is stool softner but is there stool hardener? Thank you


My suggestion would be to consult with a colorectal specialist for an exam, to receive and accurate diagnosis and treatment as deemed appropriate.

There can be several reasons for leakage of stool such as pelvic floor dysfunction, muscle or nerve damage, or loss of stool storage capacity. Often this is a result of child birth which usually appears in women over the age of 40.

You might want to try to use Metamusil to provide bulk to your stool. You could also begin to eat more fiber. Most people think that fiber is only a laxative, but it is also used to absorb the water in the stool. Antidiarrheal agents, such as Imodium AD and Lomotil, can be added to make the stools harder. Even though you do not technically have diarrhea, using Metamucil or Imodium AD can help make more formed stools.

Click on the underlined link to learn more. Let me know what questions you may have.

Fecal Incontinence

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Deborah's Post: I'm wondering if part of my problem is my diet. I had not had any problems until 5 weeks ago just after having driven 1300 miles and that night it hit me. I was eating in resturants more than I normally do and have eaten in them several times per week since. Normally I would only go out 1 every other week or so for lunch. We've torn our kitchen out for a remodel and only have a BBQ which we use for fish, meat and pork plus eating salad or potato. I don't know if any of that could have started my problem but I'm sure it has not helped. I'm sure I'm low on fiber. I feel like I never really get everything out when I do go to the bathroom and always feel uncomfortable which is why I feel like it's also irritable bowel. 2 months ago I also stopped smoking and drinking (usually had 2 or so each night of alchol) so perhaps that has caused a slight change also. Thank you

Dietary changes can certainly exacerbate fecal incontinence, so you may be on the right track to pinpointing the cause. If you get back on track with regard to your normal eating pattern, you may experience resolution of your symptoms.

  • Avoid foods and drinks that may cause loose or more frequent stools, which can worsen fecal incontinence. These include dairy products, spicy foods, fatty or greasy foods, caffeinated beverages, diet foods or drinks, and alcohol.
  • Eat smaller more frequent meals. In some people, eating a large meal will trigger the urge to have a bowel movement, and sometimes exacerbate the leakage of stool. Eating smaller and more frequent meals can reduce the frequency of bowel movements.
  • Increase fiber. Fiber increases stool bulk and often improves the consistency of stool. The recommend daily intake of fiber is 25 to 30 grams. It is suggested that you should gradually increase the amount

I would suggest that you consult with your doctor as routinely, irritable bowel does not present with symptoms of fecal incontinence.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • A bloated feeling
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Diarrhea or constipation - sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Let me know if you have any other questions.

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