Constipation is a common condition (estimated over 42 million people in the US) where a person has fewer than three bowel movements a week or bowel movements with stools that are small and hard making it difficult or painful to eliminate. Most constipation is temporary. Chronic constipation can have long her effects on the body, including, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse or fecal impaction. (more detail?)
Fecal incontinence results when a person loses the ability to control their bowel movements causing leaking of fecal matter or stool from their rectum. This can range from not being able to make it to the bathroom in time to losing a bit of stool onto one’s underwear without evening knowing it. It is estimated that 18 million people suffer from fecal incontinence in the US alone (about 1 in 12 people). Fecal incontinence may be due to other factors such as poor diet, constipation, nerve related issues or a difficult vaginal delivery.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic disorder in which a person’s intestines are irritable causing symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation usually resulting in abdominal discomfort/pain or cramping. As many as one in five people have symptoms of IBS in their lifetime. Most people with IBS can manage their symptoms with diet modifications and stress reduction techniques. Others can benefit from manual therapy, counseling or medications.