What is poor bowel control?
People with poor bowel control accidentally pass bowel motions at the wrong time or in the wrong place. They may also pass wind when they do not mean to.
Is poor bowel control common?
About one in 20 people has poor bowel control. Both men and women can have poor bowel control. It is more common as you get older, but a lot of young people also have poor bowel control.
Many people with poor bowel control also have poor bladder control (wetting themselves).
What causes poor bowel control?
Weak back passage muscles may be due to:
Diarrhoea means passing loose motions. There are many causes and it is a good idea to see your doctor to find out what can be done about this problem.
Constipation is a very common cause of bowel mishaps in older people or people with a disability. Motions can sometimes get clogged in the lower bowel and liquid can leak out around the clogged mass, which looks like there is a loss of bowel control.
What should you do about poor bowel control?
There are many causes of poor bowel control, so a careful check is needed to find the causes and things that might make it worse.
If you often have bowel mishaps, you should first talk to your doctor. You should also let your doctor know if you have:
Your doctor may:
How can poor bowel control be helped?
Because loss of bowel control is a warning sign and not a disease, the right care will depend on what is causing the problem.
Care may include:
For people with dementia or confusion
People with dementia or confusion may not feel, or be aware of, the urge to empty their bowels. This can lead to leaking of a normal bowel action. A common time for this to happen is soon after a meal, often breakfast.
Watching the person’s bowel habits for a while may help to show a pattern of bowel habits. Also, keeping track of how they act may help to find out when a bowel motion will happen. Then the person can be taken to the toilet in time.
Qualified nurses are available if you call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66* (Monday to Friday, between 8.00am to 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time) for free:
If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English you can access the Helpline through the free Telephone Interpreter Service on 13 14 50. The phone will be answered in English, so please name the language you speak and wait on the phone. You will be connected to an interpreter who speaks your language. Tell the interpreter you wish to call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66. Wait on the phone to be connected and the interpreter will assist you to speak with a continence nurse advisor. All calls are confidential.
* Calls from mobile telephones are charged at applicable rates.
如果你致電國家排便節制熱線，有資質的護士會接聽你的電話1800 33 00 66* （週一至週五，澳大利亞東部標準時間8:00am—8:00pm）。
如果你在講英語或者理解上有困難，你可以透過撥打13 14 50獲取免費電話傳譯服務以接通國家排便節制熱線。電話會用英語接通，因此請說明你要講的語言並且不要掛機。你會被連接到一個講你母語的傳譯員。告知傳譯員你想要致電國家排便節制熱線，電話是1800 33 00 66。待電話接通後傳譯員會幫助你與排便節制護理顧問對話，所有的來電均保密。