It's not always easy to talk about MS-related bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and loss of bowel control. But it's important to speak to your doctor if you notice these problems. Even if they seem minor, they may be a sign of a more serious condition. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and recommend an appropriate treatment, which may include medications, biofeedback, or in some cases, procedures to remove hardened stool from the bowel.
In addition to following the treatment plan your doctor recommends, you can maintain healthy bowel habits by following these simple tips:
- Drink enough fluid (6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily) to keep your body healthy.
- Eat a fibre-rich diet. Good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Try to get regular physical activity. Your doctor can suggest exercises that are appropriate for you.
- Manage the stress in your life using relaxation techniques.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether your medications may be playing a role in your bowel problems.
- If you're considering using medications to treat your bowel problems, speak to your doctor or pharmacist first.
- Have bowel movements at regular times of the day so that you are used to a routine. Keep in mind that a normal pattern of bowel movements may range anywhere from 3 times a day to 3 times a week.
- Consider using absorbent products if needed, such as underwear liners or protective pants, but don't use them as a substitute for seeking medical advice on bowel control issues.
Following these tips and working together with your doctor can help you cope with MS-related bowel problems.
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