Posted by: Thixia | July 7, 2008

MS and the Bowel 6 of 6

Managing bowel incontinence day to day

 

Continence advisers are there to help. You can ‘self-refer’ to many NHS Continence Advisory Services, though in some cases you may need a referral from your GP. Call the Continence Foundation helpline for details of your nearest service.

 

Skin care. A continence adviser can guide you on preventing soreness and caring for sore skin around the back passage. Gentle wiping of the anus, washing in plain water wherever possible after a bowel action, using plain soaps, avoiding creams and lotions (unless advised to use them), wearing cotton underwear that allows skin to breathe – these things can help. You can also help care for sore skin by wiping with damp cotton wool, using a barrier cream (seek advice), trying not to scratch sore skin, and allowing air to get to the anal area for at least part of every day. Talk to an adviser or your GP if your skin is sore.

 

Odour control. A chemist may stock some deodorants and air neutralisers specially designed to control smells from urine and stools. Some are available with a doctor’s prescription.

 

Products to help. Most pants and pads are designed for bladder incontinence and so are not exactly the right shape for bowel leakage. A panty-liner can act as a simple pad for minor leakage. Some people have found that folding it between the buttocks and holding it in place with a ‘G-string’ helps to contain soiling and stops skin getting sore from stool on the skin. If you have a very occasional leak, especially if it tends to be very liquid, there are pants with a waterproof gusset that should stop clothes from staining. More major incontinence will require larger pads, and many are available free on the NHS.

 

You can get full details of the range of pants and pads that are available from PromoCon, a national resource centre for information on continence products.

 

Planning. Knowing where to find accessible toilets is a great help when planning a day out. The charity RADAR has a ‘National Key Scheme’ (NKS) that gives access to disabled people to around 4,000 public toilets around the country. Keys cost £3.50 and are available from most local authorities. Or you can obtain them direct from RADAR.

 

If you are going further afield, the charity Incontact produces a free booklet called ‘Travelling with confidence’, with advice on coping with a bladder or bowel problem when going on holiday, or business trip.

 

 

 

 

 

Compliments of:

 

MS Society, UK

 

 

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