Fecal incontinence sometimes can be prevented by managing your diet. For certain people, avoiding foods that contain sugars such as lactose (from milk), fructose (from fruit) and sorbitol (from berries and other fruits) can prevent diarrhea and lower the risk of fecal incontinence. It can also be prevented in certain cases by avoiding constipation.
Treatment for fecal incontinence depends on the cause of the problem. If fecal incontinence is the result of diarrhea, fiber supplements that contain psyllium may help you to have firmer stools, which increase the sensation of rectal fullness. Anti-diarrhea medications such as "Kaopectate," loperamide ("Imodium"), or "Lomotil" are another options for treating diarrhea. If the condition is the result of impaction, the hardened stool can be removed by hand or with enemas. Emptying the rectum completely each morning (sometimes with the aid of a glycerin suppository or an enema) may help, since there will be less stool to remaining, to leak out during the day. Pelvic muscle exercises (Kegel exercises) are sometimes useful.
One effective way to treat chronic fecal incontinence is with biofeedback. People who are able to feel stool in their rectum and contract their sphincter muscles can learn, with the help of a monitor, to coordinate sphincter contractions with the fullness that occurs when stool is in the rectum. Learning the technique requires patience and practice. You need to practice contracting your sphincter at least three times a day. It is also crucial that you contract your anal muscles whenever you feel fullness in the rectum.
When conservative treatments fail, the final option is surgery. Some people benefit from operations to repair the anal sphincter muscle. Another option is to implant electrical stimulation electrodes over the tailbone to help contract the sphincter muscle. . However, these procedures do not have a high success rate. Artificial anal sphincter devices are available, but have substantial complication rates. Finally, if all else fails, surgery to create a colostomy can improve the situation for some patients with severe incontinence.