Abstract

Role of diet in fecal incontinence: a systematic review of the literature

Colavita K1, Andy UU2. Int Urogynecol J. 2016 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print]
 
     
Author information

1Division of Urogynecology, Department of OB/GYN, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1000 Courtyard Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. 2Division of Urogynecology, Department of OB/GYN, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1000 Courtyard Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA. uduakumoh.andy@uphs.upenn.edu.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: The objective was to perform a systematic review of the literature to examine original research on the role of diet in fecal incontinence (FI) with a dual focus on dietary differences in FI and dietary treatments for FI.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed and Embase databases for any peer-reviewed original research in English on the role of diet in FI.

RESULTS: We identified 172 unique citations. After title review and exclusion of articles not reporting original research, 9 publications were included in the final review: 4 focused on dietary differences and 5 focused on dietary treatments for FI. Limited evidence indicates that macro- and micronutrient intake does not differ significantly in those with and without FI. However, certain foods were perceived to improve or exacerbate FI symptoms and these varied and were adjusted as part of self-care practices. A high-fiber diet may reduce incontinence frequency.

CONCLUSIONS: Data on the pathogenesis of FI from a dietary perspective are scant. Based on the limited data, dietary differences between those with and without FI provide little insight with the exception of fiber. Further studies are needed to elucidate treatments for FI using fiber and dietary modifications.

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