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Bladder and bowels 

Bladder and bowels
Chapter:
Bladder and bowels
Author(s):

Susie Orme

, and Danielle Harari

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0060
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date: 25 February 2021

Urinary incontinence is not an inevitable consequence of ageing and its impact on social, psychological, and physical well-being is comparable to that of other chronic conditions such as diabetes and dementia. Meanwhile, constipation, including symptoms of evacuation difficulty and/or fewer bowel movements, is a common problem as people age. Risk factors include problems in cognition, mobility, gastrointestinal motility, dysautonomia, anorectal dysfunction, and disabling neurologic disorders. Faecal incontinence is more common in frail individuals but is often assessed inadequately. The cause is often multifactorial. Treatment depends on the cause: a combination of approaches may be necessary, including avoidance of faecal impaction, instigation of a structured bowel care plan including regular prompted toileting, dietary modification, and (in some cases) use of loperamide or similar medications.

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