Fecal Incontinence: What Helps, What Doesn't

At some point, both urinary and fecal (bowel) incontinence affect most people with dementia as brain-body communications deteriorate. Diet can influence the types of stools you have to deal with.

Foods that add to the problem (by relaxing the anal sphincter or irritating the bowels):

  • Coffee

  • Tea

  • Chocolate

  • Cured or smoked meat

  • Spicy foods

  • Ice cream

  • Milk

  • Fatty or greasy foods

  • Fruit

Foods that help (by bulking stool and being soft and easy to consume):

  • Bananas

  • Rice

  • Tapioca

  • Applesauce

  • Yogurt

  • Oatmeal


over 1 year ago, said...

Thank you for the article.


over 1 year ago, said...

After battling anal cancer successfully I am now battling both urinary and fecal incontinence due to pelvic radiation. It's the pits. New treatment with a low fiber diet and the addition of water soluble dietary fiber, in small amounts seems to help some...... I see many, many adult diapers in my future. Plus: it's painful. The vagaries of age and cancer treatment......


over 2 years ago, said...

Knowing which foods do what. Thanks


over 2 years ago, said...

Thank you for your help! The articles you mentioned were very informative and gave me great ideas. judypa


about 3 years ago, said...

the foods above are the only foods which this particular person with dementia will eat - and can keep down. So its the sh*ts or starvation. Not much of a choice, is it?


over 3 years ago, said...

Interesting and helpful. I guess I'll just continue to deal with the "poop" because my brother loves ice cream and coffee so much and I'm not going to deny it at this stage just to make my life easier. Game on!


over 3 years ago, said...

Have been giving her the wrong foods. I will start now to try with the ones that with help to bulk the stool and hopefully that will be more effective . Thank you.


almost 4 years ago, said...

My mother has constant diarrhea for 2 yrs now after being diagnosed with moderate dementia. She has seen a physician and they cannot find any problems with her intestines or medications she is on. Could it be caused from the dementia. I am her 24/7 caregiver and get up in the middle of the nite a few times with this problem.


almost 4 years ago, said...

My father has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in addition to dementia he has a good appetite at times but this information was helpful in letting me know what are the best foods to give him to prevent problems with his bowels. He is in hospice here at my home and at times it is qutie difficult to deal with. I need all the help I can get and this article was informative.


almost 4 years ago, said...

Very helpful


about 4 years ago, said...

what about urinary incontinence? any solutions or aids for that?


about 4 years ago, said...

Thank you for these several articles on fecal incontenence. My mother has moderate Alzheimer's and diabetes. The problem appears only occasionally, when she can't make it to the bathroom. The loose stools were a chronic problem until I started putting the little clementine oranges in the fridge - previously I left a bowl of various fruits on the table including oranges (her favorite) so she could help herself anytime, but the clementines were easy to overdo and made the stools too loose. Now I portion them out - it works for her because she won't go into the fridge on her own.


about 4 years ago, said...

my sweet heart Uma, 56 yrs, is Dementiatic since 2009 . I am her caretaker in all the respect. during this period she has lost speaking power. Her main food is cow milk with oats + cornflakes & wheat bread in morning B/fast & Dinner and all the cereals + wheat Daliawith green vegitables in Lunch time. I am using Honey replacing Sugar. Mostly she has calmdown but in evening she is little bit disturbed for 2/3 hrs.After taking her dinner & medicines ; she becomes calm down & go for sleep. pl advise


about 4 years ago, said...

But ay what stage of Alzheimers does this happen?


about 4 years ago, said...

It helps to keep getting the reminders of which foods work for which problem. Thanks.


about 4 years ago, said...

I did not realize that coffee and tea had that effect. Thank you for advising.


over 4 years ago, said...

Yes, this was very helpful. I have to balance my husband's diet constantly between constipation and lose stools.


over 4 years ago, said...

My mom has just started getting like this.


over 4 years ago, said...

Thank you. ((gjk) !!!


almost 5 years ago, said...

What about decaf tea and coffee?


almost 5 years ago, said...

Very helpful. I have been working to adjust my husbands diet to try and control this problem and I have been fairly successful. Unfortunately he really likes chocolate and several other things on the not good list. But I have gotten him to eat yogurt this year (before he would not touch it). This is a good list. Thanks for the help.


almost 5 years ago, said...

My own expertience does not allow me to agree with the recommendations. My wife had soft stool and no bproblem of incontinance with Tea,Milk,Fruits,vegetables,wheat and rice preparations.


almost 5 years ago, said...

It was concise and very clear.


about 5 years ago, said...

I thought some of these foods were causing the problem that I'm having with my Mom's incontinence problem but wasn't sure.


about 5 years ago, said...

OK, so Tea, coffee, milk and chocolate have an adverse effect on stool formation, that leaves water, fruit drinks and alcohol! My wife still has sufficient brain-power to figure out that none of these are the 'nice cup of tea' that she likes and asks for. Similarly, she still enjoys (small) portions of 'normal' meat and two veg. Why does the article not mention the benefits of the fibre in vegetables and fruits other than bananas?


about 5 years ago, said...

Reminds me that everything he likes is on the don't eat list. Have not reached this place yet, but will probably eventually.


about 5 years ago, said...

Although my Mom is not there yet, it gives me a heads up what not to feed her.


about 5 years ago, said...

Reminds me of what is right to eat altho my husband really likes all the do not eat foods.


over 5 years ago, said...

The list of foods contains several items that I was giving my wife regularly because I thought they were good for her.


over 5 years ago, said...

Hi Vinod, Thanks for your question. Tapioca is a root starch derived from the yuca plant. It's can be used to thicken soups, sweeten baked goods, and it's often used in pudding. If you'd like to find recipes using tapioca do a Google or Bing search for "Tapioca recipes." I hope that helps answer your question! -- Emily | Community Manager


over 5 years ago, said...

i agree with the content except milk. My wife a dementic and taking COW MILK daily in morning and night with oats & wheat chapati ( bread ). Her main lunch is rice & pulses with skin, pappaya, apple & grape.What is " Tapioca" ?