With MS, constipation may be caused by an interruption of impulses to the brain that signal the need for a bowel movement. MS may also prevent pelvic floor muscles from relaxing. These muscles are used to help void fecal matter. Also, MS may block the natural increase in activity of the colon following meals.
Bowel incontinence is the loss of voluntary bowel control. A person suffering from bowel incontinence may not be able to reach the bathroom fast enough. The most common causes include long-term constipation, severe diarrhea, stress, hemorrhoids, nerve or muscle damage, and overuse of laxatives.
Diarrhea is frequent, loose, or watery stools. It is sometimes the result of allergies or sensitivity to spicy foods or dairy products, contaminated water or food, a change in activity level, or viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
Diarrhea can also be the signal of another problem. If it becomes frequent or continual, see your doctor. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you see a doctor who specializes in treating bowel problems (gastroenterologist).