Ayurvedic treatment for Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-

Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence

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  • Causes
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Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence Ayurvedic treatment


Bowel control problems, known as fecal incontinence or bowel incontinence, refer to the inability of a person to control their bowel movements. This may lead to the leakage of feces (waste material or poo) unexpectedly and anytime. The conditon may involve some occasional leakage to a complete loss over motions.1

As per Ayurveda, fecal/bowel incontinence (aniyantrit mala nissarana) is considered as a symptom in many conditions, such as diarrhea (Atisara), piles (Arsa), fistula (Bhagandhar) and rectal prolapse (Gudabhramsa). Many times, it is seen as a complication of surgery in ano-rectal region.4


Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-


Some common causes of fecal incontinence are:

  • Diarrhea: Watery stool can cause leak without control
  • Constipation: Due to buildup of hard stools, there can be leakage of watery stools around the obstruction.
  • Muscle or nerve damage: Any damage to the muscles in anal region or nerve damage can cause loss of control. This damage may be due to increasing age or childbirth. 1

Nerve damage is also know to happen due to some long-term conditions like diabetes, nervous diseases and dementia.2

Ayurveda suggests that loss of bowel control could be due to weakening of the apana vayu, which is based in lower abdomen and oversees the eliminative functions.5


Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-


Some commonly seen symptoms are:3

  • Unable to control movement of bowels
  • Unexpected leakage of stools


Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-


Doctors require a number of tests to diagnose the condition1:

  • Digital rectal exam. The rectal area is checked digitally y an experienced surgeon for any abnormalities.
  • Balloon expulsion test. This test is performed to find out motility issues in the intestine.
  • Anal manometry. This test is performed to understand the condition of anal muscles, and their sensitivity.
  • Anorectal ultrasonography. This examination provides video images for doctors to evaluate.
  • Proctography. This test provides x-ray video images of actual motions being passed. This helps understand the rectal muscle condition and their functioning.


Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-


Ayurveda believes in treating the basic cause of the symptom primarily to ensure complete cure. Additionally the following ahar and vihar will support early recovery.

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Increase intake of dietary fibres. Foods rich in that include cereals and pulses, vegetables like carrot, cabbage, spinach, onion, and cucumber.
  • Regularly drink lukewarm water
  • Increase intake of probiotic rich foods like curd
  • Additionally, Kanji (a sour drink), Yavagu (thick Gruel, porridge like diet) and Tarpana (Roasted flour of cereals mixed with water) can be given.
  • Avoid spicy foods, oily foods, stale foods, excess alcohol, coffee, tea and fruits like peaches, apples and pears.

Thereafter, gradually food intake shoul be improved as follows - start with intake of Yavagu (thick gruel), Vilepi (a sticky gruel), Khada (a sour appetizer), Yusha (vegetable soup) and boiled rice is mixed with meat soup which is prepared by mixing Medicinal Herbs that improve digestive power.6

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Adequate rest is advised and care should be taken to preserve energy and hydration.
  • Do not suppress your urge to defecate/pass flatus, and avoid constipation, as it may futher weaken bowel muscles.
  • Daily exercises and yogasana practices like Mula bandha and Ashwani mudra may offer help. Certain asanas that help strengthen the pelvic floor (muscles around the anal opening) may be practiced. These are -

Utkatasana Ananda Balasana Shlabhasana


Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-
  1. What is GERD?

Acid reflux disease - also commonly known as Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is condition in which acid from the stomach regurgitates or moves up into the esophagus (gullet).

  1. How are fissures caused?

An anal fissure may occur when due to passing of hard or large stools during a bowel movement. Anal fissures typically cause pain and bleeding with bowel movements. One may experience spasms in the ring of muscle at the end of the anus (anal sphincter).

  1. Can a fissure heal completely?

With appropriate treatment and following of pathya apathya, a fissure can heal completely. Although care should be taken not to be constipated and have high amount of fiber in food.

  1. What is a kshar karma? How is it different from other surgery

Kshar karma is a specialized Ayurvedic surgical procedure that involves minimal blood loss and provides excellent relief in hemorrhoids and fistulas. It involves the applying of a sclerosing agent, such as apamarg kshar snuhi kshar etc.

It differs from conventional surgery as in it does not require anaesthesia, shows minimal blood loss and need not require inpatient admissions.

  1. What are the risk factors of developing bowel incontinence?

A number of factors can increase the risk of developing fecal incontinence. These include:

  • Age: It is more common in middle-aged and older adults.
  • Female gender: Fecal incontinence is slightly more common in women. One reason may be that fecal incontinence can be a complication of childbirth.
  • Nerve damage: People who have long-standing diabetes or multiple sclerosis — conditions that can damage nerves that help control defecation — may be at risk of fecal incontinence.
  • Dementia: Fecal incontinence is often present in late-stage Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Physical disability: Being physically disabled may make it difficult to reach a toilet in time. An injury that caused a physical disability also may cause rectal nerve damage, leading to fecal incontinence. Also, inactivity can lead to constipation, resulting in fecal incontinence.
  1. What exercises can be done to have better control on the motions?

Certain asanas that help strengthen the pelvic floor (muscles around the anal opening) are recommended for better control over the anorectal area. These are -

Utkatasana                   Virabhadrasana                 Ananda Balasana             Shlabhasana


  1. Can celiac disease lead to anything serious?

Untreated, celiac disease can cause the following complications:

  • Malnutrition: The damage to your small intestine means it can't absorb enough nutrients. Malnutrition can lead to anemia and weight loss. In children, malnutrition can cause slow growth and short stature.
  • Calcium loss of calcium and low bone density: Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D may lead to a softening of the bone (osteomalacia or rickets) in children and a loss of bone density (osteoporosis) in adults.
  • Infertility and miscarriage: Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can contribute to reproductive issues.
  • Lactose intolerance: Damage to your small intestine may cause you to experience abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating lactose-containing dairy products, even though they don't contain gluten. Once your intestine has healed, you may be able to tolerate dairy products again. However, some people continue to experience lactose intolerance despite successful management of celiac disease.
  • Cancer: People with celiac disease who don't maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.
  • Neurological problems: Some people with celiac disease may develop neurological problems such as seizures or peripheral neuropathy (disease of the nerves that lead to the hands and feet).

In children, celiac disease can also lead to failure to thrive, delayed puberty, weight loss, irritability and dental enamel defects, anemia, arthritis, and epilepsy.

  1. Who gets affected by pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis is more common in middle-aged and elderly people, but it can affect people of any age. Men are more likely to develop alcohol-related pancreatitis, while women are more likely to develop it as a result of gallstones.

  1. What are the common causes of developing ulcers in stomach?

Common causes of peptic ulcers include -

  • Long-term use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • An infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
  • Rare cancerous and/or noncancerous tumors in the stomach, duodenum, or pancreas

Addtionally, intake of alcohol and smoking also increase the chances of having a gastric ulcer.

  1. What causes hemorrhoids?

Swelling in the anal or rectal veins causes hemorrhoids. Several factors may cause this swelling, including -

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
  • A lack of fiber in the diet

Another cause of hemorrhoids is the weakening of the connective tissue in the rectum and anus that occurs with age.

Pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids by increasing pressure in the abdomen, which may enlarge the veins in the lower rectum and anus. For most women, hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy disappear after childbirth.



Bowel control problems -Fecal incontinence-
  1. Mayo Clinic. Fecal incontinence - Introduction. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fecal-incontinence/home/ovc-20166830 accessed on Aug 23rd 2016
  2. NHS Choices. Bowel incontinence. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/incontinence-bowel/Pages/Introduction.aspx accessed on Aug 23rd 2016
  3. Mayo Clinic. Fecal incontinence - Symptoms & Causes. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fecal-incontinence/symptoms-causes/dxc-20166883 accessed on Aug 23rd 2016
  4. Gupta S et al. A comparative study to evaluate the efficacy of standard fistulectomy procedure and kshar sutra ligation in management of fistula in ano. Int J Res Ayu Pharm. Aug 2014. Vol. 5 (4): 470-73
  5. Singh AK. A Critical Review On Ayurvedic Concept Of Agnimandya (Loss Of Appetite). JPSI. Apr 2012; 1(2):5-8
  6. Charaka Samhita. Chikitsasthan-19/23-25.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or ayurvedic treatment of gastro-intestinal-diseases and/or bowel control problems (fecal incontinence) without consulting the doctor. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. "While we have products /ayurvedic medicines for gastro-intestinal-diseases and/or bowel control problems (fecal incontinence), you must consult an authorized physician before taking any of the products. For more information on products, visit www.dabur.com or call 1800-103-1644"