Accidental Bowel Leakage - Adults

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Does coeliac disease and anxiety make ABL worse?

Postby Guest Posts on Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:48 am

I am a young 50-year old, and sometimes suffer from ABL, which has caused embarrassment in my life quite a few times now. It has happened a few times when I have been on my way to a concert, and having to try to clean myself in a public toilet hasn't been easy, sometimes impossible as the mess goes everywhere. I carry a spare pair of underpants with me most of the time, but don't feel ready to wear special incontinence pants, as this only happens about once in 3 weeks or so. I also suffer from coeliac and anxiety, so could these be making it worse? What can I do to make this stop? Am desperate. Thank you so much in advance. Ps. I eat a vegetarian diet, but also lots of sweets things, I don't know if this makes a difference.
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Re: Does coeliac disease and anxiety make ABL worse?

Postby Polly Weston on Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:20 am

Celiac disease can result in faecal leakage as it effects the digestive process due to changes in the enzymes in the gut. Anxiety can cause production of adrenaline which can also irritate the bowel.

It seems that dispite your best efforts, you are struggling to manage the ABL especially with outings. You might find using the renew insert is a more discrete method of preventing leakage. In my experience, patients find that they feel more confident and improve there quality of life knowing that the renew insert will prevent ABL, and this reduces anxiety.
The renew insert is available via prescription and is easy to use, it comes in two sizes with an applicator, and the starter kit with both sizes will help you determine which one suits you best. If you feel able to contact your local NHS bladder and bowel service, you can find them via NHS choices. The team will be able to guide you with this as well as offer a holistic bowel assessment and support.

Thank you for your post

Best wishes
Polly Weston
Team Lead South Cumbria Continence Service
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Re: Does coeliac disease and anxiety make ABL worse?

Postby Sharon Holroyd on Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:34 pm

Anxiety and coeliac can both increase bowel activity and lead to issues as you have described. You mention eating a lot of sweet things – it may be worth checking any artificial sweetner content particularly aspartame or sorbitol as these both increase bowel activity and can lead to a loose stool. As a simple rule, soluble fibre adds bulk and slows down the transit time of the bowel, insoluble fibre speeds things up (so good for constipation). Use of anal plugs / inserts can be of use and some can be worn continuously as they are silicone based.
Sharon Holroyd
Lead CNS Calderdale Bladder and Bowel Service
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