Many tools and resources are available from the NIDDK and other organizations. These resources can prepare you to talk with your doctor about your bowel control problem and find the right treatment.
NIDDK Educational Materials
What I need to know about Bowel Control is an easy-to-read booklet that defines bowel control problems and explains how normal bowel control works. The 44-page, illustrated booklet discusses the causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment of bowel control problems and covers topics such as what people should tell a doctor about their bowel control problems and what to do about anal discomfort. This booklet is available in English and Spanish.
Fecal Incontinence is a fact sheet that explains the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and emotional considerations of fecal incontinence, commonly known as bowel control problems. The 16-page fact sheet includes information about eating, diet, and nutrition and reviews fecal incontinence in children.
Bowel Control Problems: What You Need to Know provides a brief overview of the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of bowel control problems. This 4-page fact sheet is part of the NIDDK Awareness and Prevention Series, which is designed to make you ask yourself, “Could this be me or someone I care for?” This fact sheet provides information in English and Spanish.
The following pages provide printable materials or links to resources for recording bowel activity and eating habits. Share this information with your doctor to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of your bowel control problem.
- Stool Diary (PDF, 148kb) *
Chart for recording daily bowel movement details such as time, presence of incontinence, stool seepage or staining, stool consistency, and urgency; additional details such as use of pads, medications, and other comments can be recorded
Adapted from Diagnosis and Management of Fecal Incontinence
- Bristol Stool Form Scale
Illustration of the seven stool types, which can be used to help fill out the stool diary
Text reproduced with permission from Lewis SJ, Heaton KW, Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 1997; 32(9):920–924. ©1997 Informa Healthcare.
- Links to Food Diaries
Links to resources for recording daily food and beverage intake
Additional Educational Materials
Familydoctor.org, a service of the American Academy of Family Physicians
- Fecal Incontinence, updated 2011 (also available in Spanish)
American College of Gastroenterology
- Fecal Incontinence
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Bowel Control Problems, 2011 (PDF, 295 KB) (also available in Spanish)
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Biofeedback & Bowel Disorders: Teaching Yourself to Live without the Problem, 2009
- Bowel Problems Associated with Neurologic Diseases, 2009
- Managing Bowel Incontinence: Dietary Measures, 2009
- Personal Daily Diary, 2005
- Physiological Testing of the Colon, Rectum and Anus, 2006
- Reporter's Guide to Bowel Incontinence, 2008 (PDF, 366 KB)
- Strategies for Establishing Bowel Control, 2006
National Association for Continence
- Biofeedback, 2008
- Diet and Daily Habits: Can this Affect Your Bladder or Bowel Control? 2008
- Fecal Incontinence, 2011
- Incontinence and Childbirth, 2011
National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- NIH State-of-the-Science Conference: Prevention of Fecal and Urinary Incontinence in Adults
The Simon Foundation for Continence
- About Incontinence - Types of Incontinence - Fecal or Bowel Incontinence
Page last updated February 20, 2013