Q. I’m a 40 year old mum with ongoing diarrhoaea, but I find it is just getting worse. What can I do?
A. First of all, you will need to have a thorough medical assessment from your GP or specialist to rule out problems such as infection, inflammation, coeliac disease and food intolerances.
You may need to stop consuming bowel irritants such as caffeine, artificial sweetners and alcohol. It may also be a good idea to introduce a bulking agent such as psyllium husk, Metamucil, Fybogel or Normafibe each day, as these can lower the water content in the stools and reduce the need for medication. Being stressed or anxious can also cause the bowel to be more sensitive. By combining a mind and bowel calming approach such as holding on can be effective in retraining your urges to empty your bowels. This along with regular pelvic floor exercises are recommended, as is establishing a good toilet routine and an effective bowel emptying regime.