U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The NIDDK Bowel Control Awareness Campaign

Let’s Talk about Bowel Control

If you, someone you know, or someone you treat has a bowel control problem, it can be embarrassing. Bowel control problems, also called fecal incontinence, are
  • common
  • manageable
  • often treatable
  • not always a part of aging
Talking about the problem is the first step. On this website, you'll find information to help you start the conversation and manage bowl control problems. 

Bowel Control Resources

​​For the General Public

Bowel C​ontrol | En Español
Describes bowel control problems, its causes, risks factors, diagnosis, treatment, and coping with bowel control problems.

Tips and tools to prepare for your doctor visit. View the Bristol Stool Form Scale (PDF, 383KB) and the Stool Diary (PDF, 148 KB) a tear off pad for you to provide to your patients for an illustration of the seven stool types.

Some bowel control problems improve simply by changing what—and how much—you eat and drink. Keeping a food diary can help. 


​​For Health Care Professionals 

Did you know that nearly 18 million U.S. adults have fecal incontinence? Out of every 12 patients you see, both young and old, one is likely to be struggling with the condition.

Many people do not seek help because they are embarrassed. As a health care provider, you can start the conversation about bowel control.

Diagnosis and Management of Fecal Incontinence (PDF, 181 KB) 
Current practice guidelines for diagnosis and management of fecal incontinence. 

Stool Diary (PDF, 148 KB)  
A tear off pad for you to provide to your patients.

Bristol Stool Form Scale (PDF, 383 KB)
An illustration of the seven stool types to give to patients.

Clinical Trials and Research

Provides results from an automated search specifically for fecal incontinence clinical research trails listed on ClinicalTrials.gov. ClinicalTrials.gov is maintained by the National Institutes of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health

Provides results from an automated search for fecal incontinence references from PubMed. PubMed comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher websites.

"Our findings indicate that fecal incontinence is a significant public health burden in the U.S.affecting close to 10 percent of the adult population over 40 years old. The Bowel Control Awareness Campaign's main objective is raising public awareness of fecal incontinence to aid in prevention of incontinence and to improve the lives of men and women living with the condition."

– Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P., Director of the NIDDK