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Neurogenic Bowel after Spinal Cord Injury

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What is neurogenic bowel?

Neurogenic bowel is a condition that causes loss of bowel function after a spinal cord injury (SCI). After a SCI, you may not be able to feel that your bowels are full. Your rectum may not be able to hold in your bowel movement. Bowel movement may leak out or come out in bursts.

What can I do about neurogenic bowel?

Your may be able to learn how to control your bowel function with a bowel management program. Bowel management programs help you have bowel movements at regular times. This may help prevent leakage. Ask for more information about bowel management programs.

How can I help control my bowel function?

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Healthy foods may help you have regular bowel movements.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids help prevent constipation and soften your bowel movements.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have a fever.
  • You have a swollen, firm abdomen.
  • You have pain in your rectum.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have blood in your bowel movement or coming from your rectum.
  • You have vomiting or diarrhea for 2 or more days.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.