Modifying diet can reduce faecal incontinence in older women

INCREASING fibre and fluid intake could help the one in 10 elderly women who experience regular faecal incontinence, a researcher says.

Data from almost 5000 women aged 82–87 years, who participated in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, showed 10.7% experienced faecal incontinence once a month.

One of the major predictors was eating less fruit, the study found.

“Vegetables and fruit provide dietary fibre which bulks bowel motions,” said Dr Magnus Halland, from the Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle. A protective effect was seen in women who drank more than two cups of non-alcoholic liquid daily.

The research will be presented at Australian Gastroenterology Week 2011 in Brisbane this week.