Bowel dysfunction is a common symptom that can occur in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS can affect the normal functioning of the nerves that control the muscles of the bowel, leading to various bowel problems, including constipation, bowel incontinence, urgency, or incomplete emptying.Here are some bowel dysfunctions often associated with MS:
TraXel | MS & Bowel Dysfunction
1. Constipation: Constipation refers to difficulty or infrequent bowel movements. It can occur due to slow movement of stool through the intestines, inadequate water intake, reduced physical activity, or the effects of certain medications used to manage MS symptoms.
2. Bowel incontinence: Bowel incontinence involves the loss of control over bowel movements, resulting in involuntary leakage or accidents. It can occur due to impaired sensation or weakened control of the anal sphincter muscles caused by MS-related nerve damage.
3. Urgency: MS-related bowel dysfunction may cause a sense of urgency, where individuals feel a strong and sudden need to have a bowel movement. Urgency can lead to difficulty in reaching the bathroom in time, resulting in accidents or episodes of bowel incontinence.
4. Incomplete emptying: Some individuals with MS may experience a feeling of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. This sensation can occur due to weakened muscle coordination in the rectum and pelvic floor muscles.
Managing bowel dysfunction in MS typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, and medication interventions. Some strategies that may be recommended include:
Increasing fiber intake: Consuming a diet rich in fiber can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good sources of dietary fiber.
Staying hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water can help soften stools and facilitate bowel movements.
Regular physical activity: Engaging in regular exercise or physical activity can promote healthy bowel function by stimulating intestinal motility.
Medications: In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications such as laxatives, stool softeners, or medications to help regulate bowel movements.
It's important to discuss any bowel dysfunction symptoms with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice and treatment options based on individual needs.