Bowel Incontinence (Fecal Incontinence): Causes & Diagnosis
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What causes fecal incontinence? 14 possible conditions

Bowel incontinence, also called fecal incontinence, is a loss of bowel control that results in involuntary fecal elimination. Severity can range from an infrequent involuntary passage of small amounts of stool to a total loss of bowel control.  Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Spinal Cord Injury

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A spinal cord injury, or damage to the spinal cord, is an extremely serious type of physical trauma. It will likely have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life. According to the Nationa...

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2

Spinal Cord Abscess

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Spinal cord abscess (SCA) is a rare condition capable of causing permanent damage to the spinal cord. Abscesses are caused when injured tissue becomes infected. The body's immune system sends white blood cells to hel...

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3

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel disease that causes severe inflammation of the digestive tract. It is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and may affect your quality of life. Crohn's disease is characterized b...

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4

Meningomyelocele in Children

Meningomyelocele is a type of spina bifida. Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the spinal canal and the backbone don't close before birth.

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5

Intestinal Obstruction

If your small or large intestine becomes blocked, fluid and digested food cannot move through. This can cause bloating, stomach cramps, and burping.

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6

Seizures

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Seizures are changes in the brain's electrical activity. This change can cause dramatic, noticeable symptoms or it may not cause any symptoms. The symptoms of a severe seizure include violent shaking and a loss o...

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7

All About Autonomic Dysrelexia (or Hyperreflexia)

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a condition in which your involuntary nervous system overreacts to stimuli. It's also known as autonomic hyperreflexia.

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8

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is a progressive brain disorder. Learn about the causes, signs and research being done about AD.

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9

Anal Cancer

Anal cancer is an uncommon cancer in the anal canal. It's easy to mistake symptoms of anal cancer for other conditions such as hemorrhoids, which could delay a diagnosis. Human papillomavirus is closely related to ana...

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10

Tetanus

Tetanus, also called Lockjaw, is a serious bacterial infection that affects the nervous system and causes muscles throughout the body to tighten.

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11

Fecal Impaction of the Colon

Fecal impaction of the colon is when stool becomes stuck in the colon and is unable to leave the body.

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12

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS can cause varying symptoms that appear with a wide range of severity, from mild discomfort to complete disability.

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13

Stroke Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A stroke (a "brain attack") is a medical emergency in which part of the brain is deprived of oxygen. This occurs when an artery that supplies oxygenated blood to the brain becomes damaged and brain cells begin to die.

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14

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder is a group of behavioral and emotional problems. Learn about conduct disorder signs, types, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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