Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Bowel problems, while not as common as bladder dysfunction, are not that uncommon in multiple sclerosis.
The most common complaint is that of constipation although diarrhea may also feature. In rarer instances, fecal incontinence may occur where there is an inability to maintain any control of the bowel.
The most common bowel complaint, constipation, may also result or at least be made worse, by the side effects of some of the prescribed drugs which people with multiple sclerosis are likely to be taking such as some antidepressants, or drugs prescribed to help control bladder dysfunction.
Fecal urgency, where there is an immediate need to get to the toilet may also occur. This can lead to fecal incontinence if the bathroom cannot be reached quickly enough.
It is also possible for someone with multiple sclerosis to have bouts of constipation and diarrhea or fecal incontinence.
This can be due to initial constipation combined with a loss of sphincter control when voiding does occur. The loss of control of the anal sphincter, triggered by a loss of sensation in the rectum results in the involuntary release of the lower bowel contents.
Multiple sclerosis related bowel dysfunction can be embarrassing, unpleasant and socially isolating (usually self-imposed) as well as being unhygienic.
The range of bowel dysfunction which can be associated with multiple sclerosis:
- Fecal urgency
- All of the above
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