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Loss of anal sphincter control
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Loss of anal sphincter control

I have recently discovered that I have lost control of my anal sphincter that pushes out.
So far the only thing that works is an enema, but I am scared about what will happen if those stop working!
I don't "go" that often and it is usally very little so I only use the enema like once a week.

sorry to be so graphic but MS makes you have to lose all modesty does'nt it?!

Thanks!
16 Comments Post a Comment
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Have you lost the urge to have a bowel movement?

I lost all urge to have a bowel movement. The internal anal spincter muscle that is controlled by our brain, no longer receives the message to open, close.

No need to apologize for being graphic-we need to really explain what is happening, in order for other members to really understand, so they can offer advice, etc.
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3095281_tn?1340998058
I feel when I have to go, but can't push.

What do you do about something like this? What do/did you do?
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Same boat.  Was at the point where I really only had a BM about once a week, unless I had my period, and then I would have diarrhea for a day or two...kind of wierd. Always feel like I have to go but never feel empty after I finally do. And sometimes if it was poop day, I wouldn't leave the house cause that was all I would do!

Neuro put me on prescription colale 1x daily, and it has improved to probably every 3rd day, and I'm sure when I go back in July they will put me on Miralax.

Definitely let your doc know so you can start on something.

Good luck, I know it *****!
Kristen
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That is how my loss began.

Well, I use a lukewarm enema every day.

But, I know now, there are programs available to help with this problem.

I noticed that the hospital my G.I. Doc works in, has a "Continence Clinic", and they can help people with nerve issues.

So, when I see him on July 31st, I am going to talk to him about the Continence Clinic.

Have you talked to your MS Specialist about it? He or she may know of a program and refer you to it, before you lose the urge to have a B.M.
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Hi, Kristen.

MS sure messes up our entire systems, doesn't it?

I had unnecessaryssay hysterectomy, because my Gyne thought I was trying to push past a small fibroid, that had regrown, after he had cauterized it.

But it turned out the internal anal sphincter muscle would not relax.

It took so long to get my MS diagnosis, that I lost all nerve sensation.

I hope no one else ends up this way!

Sheila
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293157_tn?1285877039
I have had the same problem, but I didn't understand what caused it.  

it doesn't happen all the time only once in awhile.

take care
wobbly
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Unfortunately, too many doctors don't make the connection.

But my G.I.Doc knew. He tried to tell my former Neuro I had MS and he just didn't get it.

Thus, it's now permanent for me.

Hopefully, through the forum, people will know what to tell their doctors, before it becomes permanent.

Sheila
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3095281_tn?1340998058
I just had my Neuro appointment and didn't notice it until today really. I will have to call his office and see what he says.

I am just so afraid of having to have a colostomy, I can't handle it.

Don't mean to sound like a chicken but I don't know what to expect from not being able to use those muscles long term.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can understand getting appointments mixed up. I do it a lot.

No, you will not need a colostomy.

If your Neuro doesn't know of a place that has the program to help you, then, talk to your G.I. Doc.

I know how you feel about a colostomy. But I haven't heard of anyone with MS ever having had one.
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1225331_tn?1333369369
I've been having this same problem for almost a year now.  My primary care doctor sent me to a GI doctor.  She did a rectal exam and said my strength for pushing is 0/5.  She decided to send me to physical therapy.  

I did physical therapy for maybe 4 months total.  It didn't really work that well for me.  However, it was pretty enlightening. They did biofeedback and found that I have severe spasticity in that area. I think the spasticity may have led to the weakness.  Normal biofeedback for muscle tone in that area is about 1 at rest, and mine is almost 14.  And it did help show me which positions are more advantageous for my body to release it (path of least resistance).  They say that people with MS sometimes have a communication dis-connect between your muscles, nerves, and brain.  

Some of the things that help are staying very hydrated.  I was also taking stool softeners, but then switched to drinking prune juice.  In my case, I cannot get it out either.  Most of the time, I have to manually assist to get it out,   by pushing up on the outside side of the opening (about 1/2-1 inch away), it helps to release it. Sorry for being graphic.    

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Hi, Kelly.

Your post was really full of good information. But I am really sorry that you also suffer with this problem.

My G.I. Doc told me in '08, that my internal anal sphincter muscle wasn't getting the message from my brain, and he even explained to my former Neuro that it is MS, but my former Neuro just didn't get it. That's why he is former. LOL

I was constipated for 6 years and had to use a gloved finger to dis-impact.
But something else is going on now, and I developed stool that was too soft, and now it's diarrhea all of the time.

I have an appt. on 7/31 with my G.I. Doc.

No need to apologize for being graphic in this forum. When we developed MS, we learned we checked out dignity at the door. :)

And the more people talk about this problem, the more people can be helped, even if it is only to understand, why, they have the problem.

Sheila
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1225331_tn?1333369369
Sheila, mine is the same as you.  I have the constipation, but now I also have the soft diarrhea as well. The only trouble is, is that when I have  soft/diarrhea stools, now I can't hold it in.  It just starts to come out.  It's like my muscles are too weak/tight to go when it's hard and too weak/tight to hold it when it's soft - so never catch a break.

It's good that you're going back in to see a new GI doctor. You never know what bowel changes could be related to.  As in my case, they say probable cancer.  
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Kelly, I had severe diarrhea Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I think mine is related to some type of gastrointestinal issue. I have an appt. with my G.I. Doc on the 31st.

I am so sorry that your muscles can't hold it inside.

I wonder, if you did kegel exercizes, if it would help, because the anal sphincter muscle that helps us retain stool, is the one we control.

Maybe give them a try, and strengthen that muscle.

Because I can hold it in, unless the diarrhea is so bad, and I am asleep.

When will you have a colonoscopy, to find out if it is cancer?

I pray that it is not, but, if they catch it early, it is one of the curable cancers.

(((HUGS)))
Sheila
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1225331_tn?1333369369
My oncologist at the University sent the referral over early last week and marked it as ASAP.  Apparently, their idea of ASAP & mine are totally different. I'm still waiting for them to call me to set-up an appt. I called last week, and they said it takes a while to get all the info & then base the referrals off of triag - they said they'll call me today or tomorrow.

It could be 4 wks if I have to wait the normal amount of time to see the GI doctor. And then not sure how long after that for my scopes.
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Oh, Kelly, I truly empathize with you in regards to waiting.

It feels like forever. I pray that you won't have to wait what they consider the "normal" amount of time.

With cancer, they need to move much quicker.

In '06, my Gyne suspected I had ovarian cancer, and he bumped a number of surgeries, and I was in the hospital within a week.

I hope they move fast.
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Hi,just found this post and subject tonite. How r u doing now? Over the last few months I have noticed not feel the urge to poop. And now all I can say is my anus doesn't close tightly anymore. When I feel the urge I better be near a toilet. Not happy. mS dx 16 yrs ago.
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