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Bowel Conditions and 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.

Once you have a clearer idea of what your problem may be or if you have been diagnosed you can visit our treatment and product sections 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 and Advice 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.

Talkhealth Incontinence Forum

Talk Health Forum

B&BF is working in partnership with talkhealth to promote a new online continence forum which is managed and run in its entirety by the talkhealth team. There are many forums on this site, but the ones mainly associated with our work are the forums entitled Incontinence, Men’s Health, IBS and Women’s Health. To the right is a snippet of some of the questions posted to the forum.

If you’d like to join the continence forum and begin posting or would like to see what it’s all about please visit the Talkhealth website.

The ‘talkhealth forum’ is not managed, hosted or moderated by Bladder and Bowel Foundation (B&BF) and any continence forums within talkhealth are entirely separate from B&BF.  B&BF clinical representatives may take part in a talkhealth continence forum but do not endorse any content posted by others or contribute to any content on the forum sites, unless specifically marked as such.  B&BF accepts  no responsibility for any of the wider content on the talkhealth forums.

Further Help and Advice

If you would prefer to talk this through with a specialist continence nurse before you make an appointment with your GP or continence clinic, please phone our Helpline on 0845 345 0165.

B&BF’s Helpline is totally confidential, please visit our Helpline page if you would like more information on this service.

Just Can’t Wait Card

Just Can't Wait

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 from our Resources section

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Free, Confidential Helpline

HELPLINE 0845 345 0165

For free, confidential, continence management advice from one of our trained continence nurses, please call our helpline

You can also obtain the Radar key which is part of the National Key Scheme. Please click here to be directed to the Disability Rights UK website for more information.

If you would like to make a donation to B&BF to help us continue our vital work, you can donate using either Paypal or Just Giving. There are also links at the bottom of this page.


All the information provided by B&BF is intended as a general guide only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own GP or any other health professional. We therefore recommend that you make an appointment with your GP or other health professional for a medical assessment and diagnosis.

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