Q:

What causes leaky bowels?

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Quick Answer

Leaky bowels are caused by muscle and nerve injuries of the pelvic floor, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse or inflammatory bowel disorder, among other causes, according to Cleveland Clinic. The condition is common, and many patients find relief by taking probiotics or anti-diarrheal medications.

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Full Answer

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around the anus or lower rectum swell, notes Healthline. The condition does not have a specific cause, but factors to blame include chronic constipation, straining during a bowel movement, pregnancy and genetic factors. Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include blood on tissue after a bowel movement, severe itching, difficulty sitting and pain. In rare cases, patients develop symptoms of anemia, such as pale skin.

Rectal prolapse is a condition where the rectum falls and comes through the opening of the anus, explains MedlinePlus. The condition is typically caused by constipation in adults and can be found in children with cystic fibrosis. A symptom of rectal prolapse is a mass that sticks out of the anal opening. The mass may also bleed and be painful and uncomfortable.

Inflammatory bowel disorder describes several conditions that cause long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, according to Healthline. The most common diseases that cause this condition are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Genetic and autoimmune factors can contribute to the development of inflammatory bowel disorder, which causes symptoms such as weight loss, hematochezia, pain, bloating and diarrhea.

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