Bowel Category

Bowel Conditions & Symptoms

The first and most important point to remember is that everyone with a bowel problem can be helped and many can be completely cured.

If you have been diagnosed with bowel (faecal) incontinence, IBS, Colitis, Crohns, constipation or other bowel problems you can search the down menus below to find out more information about your specific condition or problem. If you have not been diagnosed by a health professional, the following questions about your symptoms should help you find the information you are looking for.

  • Do you find it difficult to have a bowel movement or have a bowel movement less than 3 times a week and have to strain
  • Excessively or do not feel completely empty? You may be constipated.
  • Do you pass watery or very loose stools more than 3 times in a day? You may have diarrhoea.
  • Do you have abdominal pain (in the lower left part of the abdomen) and a change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea or alternating between both), with a mild fever and nausea and vomiting? These are symptoms of diverticular disease.
  • If you have diarrhoea, weight loss and abdominal pain, these could be signs of Crohn’s Disease.
  • Do you have bloody diarrhoea or diarrhoea containing mucus and the constant urge to go to the toilet even though nothing comes out, with or without abdominal pain? These are symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis.
  • Do you leak faeces without being aware of it? This could be bowel or faecal incontinence.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you must see your GP as soon as possible:

  • bleeding from your back passage
  • blood in your stools (faeces), which can make them look bright red, dark red, or black
  • a change in normal bowel habits lasting three weeks or more
  • unexplained weight loss and tiredness
  • an unexplained pain or lump in your tummy

Once you have a clearer idea of what your problem may be or if you have been diagnosed you can visit our treatment section to see what your options are for managing your symptoms or condition. Information dealing with the more practical and emotional side of coping with bowel problems can be found by visiting the support section.

How to approach your GP about your bowel problems

It is never too late to get help with your bowel problems. If you would like some advice on how to approach your GP regarding your bowel problem you may find our Advice Sheet helpful. It also includes information on tests that your GP may recommend you have done. To download, please click on this link Bowel Advice Sheet.

Stoma Information

If you are looking for information about Stoma’s then you can visit our Stoma Care section which contains a host of information including:

Just Can’t Wait Card

A small convenient and well recognised card that greatly improves your ability to gain access to toilet facilities in all sorts of locations. You can purchase one here.

Coeliac Disease

Coeliac Disease is a common chronic autoimmune condition that affects around one in every 100 people. The condition is a reaction of the immune system to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. You are more likely to…

Hirschsprung’s Disease

Hirschsprung’s Disease is a rare congenital disorder that affects the large bowel (colon), which causes severe constipation and/ or bowel obstruction. This disease affects one in 5,000 babies born. In Hirschsprung’s Disease, the ganglion…

Bowel Obstruction & Small Bowel Obstruction

A bowel obstruction can be a serious condition, which can occur in the large or small bowel. A small bowel obstruction commonly occurs where loops of intestine can easily get blocked or twisted. A blockage can be partial or total,…

Short Bowel Syndrome

Short Bowel Syndrome is a rare and complex disease which usually develops after a significant portion of small bowel and /or colon is removed surgically. This condition can also occasionally happen as a result of a portion of the bowel…

Diarrhoea

This is when the stool (faeces) is loose and watery. Diarrhoea can cause frequent and urgent desires to go to the toilet. Sometimes people with diarrhoea are unable to reach a toilet in time and they become incontinent. Diarrhoea can be…

Childhood bowel problems

Bowel problems are not limited to adults and are definitely not just part of getting older – children can experience them too. Some children will be born with bowel conditions while others can develop them as they start to grow. In this…

Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

Colitis and Crohn's disease are Inflammatory Bowel Diseases where the intestines can become swollen, inflamed and ulcerated. The symptoms for these conditions include abdominal pain, loss of weight, diarrhoea, urgent need to go to the…

Constipation

Constipation is a very common condition that affects people of all ages. It means you are not passing stools (faeces) as often as you normally do, you have to strain more than usual or you are unable to completely empty your bowels.…

Diverticular disease

Diverticular Disease (DD) is the name given to small pouches (sacs) known as diverticula, that protrude outwards from the wall of the large intestine. Each diverticulum consists of a small part of the inner lining of the intestine that has…

Faecal incontinence

Faecal incontinence or bowel incontinence is more common than you would think. Unfortunately, it is a subject which is still not as openly talked about as it should be. Bowel incontinence affects over 53 million people in Europe making it…