Loperamide is a medication that prevents the bowel muscle squeezing too strongly, and makes the faeces more solid. It would not be advisable to take it all the time, but it is very useful for occasions where you might be particularly worried about leakage from the bowel.For a summary of treatment options for bowel (faecal) incontinence, go to: Patient Pictures.com: Fecal incontinence treatment options Investigation.The majority of people will respond to conservative measures and will not need any further treatment. If the anal muscles are weak, injections of ‘bulking agents’ into the wall of the anus may help, but these injections have to be done by a specialist doctor and it is uncertain how effective the treatment is ( Neuromodulation.For major incontinence, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) or sacral nerve stimulation is a possibility.Rhubarb, figs, prunes and plums all contain a natural laxative, and excessive doses of vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, magnesium, calcium) can worsen leakage of faeces.In some people, caffeine loosens the faeces, so it might be a good idea to reduce your intake of coffee or other caffeinated products (e.g. Olestra, used in some ‘slimming’ foods, has gained unwelcome publicity for this reason.It is an artificial mixture of fats, none of which can be digested or absorbed.
Rectal irrigation can also be effective in certain cases.
For sudden urges, wait as long as you can before sitting down to empty your bowels, gradually increasing the amount of time you wait.
You should soon find it easier to hold on for longer.
A special undergarment is available, worn next to the skin under your swimsuit (see Useful contacts). There are exercises that will strengthen the anal muscles.
Look at the website of St Mark’s Hospital UK, listed in the Useful contacts.