The findings also showed that greater fatigue and experiencing bowel and bladder problems are associated with a higher level of disability.
The research, “The frequency of bowel and bladder problems in multiple sclerosis and its relation to fatigue: A single centre experience,” was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Bladder or bowel problems are frequent in people with MS, and may manifest as urinary incontinence or retention, slow intestinal transit, and chronic constipation. It is estimated that more than 50% of MS patients experience these problems.
However, research on bowel dysfunction specifically, and on whether bladder and bowel symptoms are associated with fatigue and disability in MS, remain scarce.
Now, a team at Neuroscience Research Australia conducted a single-center study to address these gaps. Questionnaires on bowel, bladder, and fatigue symptoms were distributed to adults with MS who visited the MS Studdy Center in Sydney between March and October 2018.
Specifically, the Actionable Bladder Symptom Screening Tool of bladder symptoms in MS was used to assess urinary urgency, leakage and frequency, excessive urination at night (nocturia), and the psychosocial impact of bladder problems. The Rome III criterion was used to determine the frequency of constipation, while the Revised Faecal Incontinence Scale analyzed the severity of fecal incontinence and stool leakage.
In turn, the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale was used to assess fatigue symptoms in the four weeks prior to completing the questionnaire.
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