What can be done depends on the cause, how severe the problem is, as well as the age, health and motivation of the individual who is affected.

Dietary measures

Eating smaller meals at regular and frequent intervals can help reduce the frequency of bowel movement. It can also make it easier for your intestines to digest and decrease wind production. Having regular meal times prevents the bowel from being empty – an empty bowel produces more wind and gurgles.

Sometimes the way in which you eat means that you swallow a lot of air with your food. Eating a little more slowly; chew each mouthful carefully (especially if the food is high in fibre) and try to avoid talking too much while you are actually eating. If you are in a hurry, don't be tempted to wash down half chewed food with a gulp of drink. In fact, eating and drinking at the same time can also increase the amount of air that you swallow, so try drinking before or after food, rather than during.

Avoid foods and drinks which cause loose stools, such as fatty foods, alcohol, fizzy drinks, caffeinated beverages and sugar free gum/drinks. Foods which cause excessive wind production should also be avoided; beans, nuts, bran cereal, cabbage, shellfish and wholemeal carbohydrates.

On the other hand, fibre which can help bulk up stool and improve stool consistency should be eaten. The daily recommended intake of fibre is 30 grams. Fibre is found in cereals, grains, legumes, fruit, vegetables and salad vegetables. You should increase your fibre gradually over a few weeks to reduce the possibility of bloating and gas.


This is a program to help the patients sense when their anal muscle is squeezed or relaxed and encouraging them to improve this response until it becomes automatic


Surgery may be performed when a muscle defect is identified, usually as a result of giving birth. Up to 80 – 90% of patients have a very good response to this type of surgery. Patients usually do not return to perfect continence, as some wind problems still remain.


Some patients have such severe incontinence and problems due to the incontinence there the stream of faeces may need to be diverted to the abdominal wall. This is done by creating a colostomy or ileostomy. This is often considered the last and least popular option, yet it returns the dignity and control to an often chaotic life.

Artificial anus formation

This is done by implanting a fluid filled prosthesis that squeezes the anal canal closed OR stimulated transplanted muscles. This may be suitable in certain patients with intractabl3e incontinence who are not suitable for muscle repair.
^ Back To Top