How does MS affect the digestive system? Constipation and Fecal Incontinence
The most prevalent chronic digestive symptom in those with MS is constipation, affecting about half of those with MS. Individuals who experience constipation have infrequent bowel movements that are difficult to pass, and often accompanied by significant bowel pain and bloating.
Can MS cause abdominal discomfort? The ‘MS hug’ is symptom of MS that feels like an uncomfortable, sometimes painful feeling of tightness or pressure, usually around your stomach or chest. The pain or tightness can stretch all around the chest or stomach, or it can be just on one side.
Can MS cause stomach inflammation? Several studies have shown that people with MS have gut dysbiosis. Certain gut bacteria create more inflammation in the body and this is seen in some people with MS. In mouse studies , some MS-like symptoms are improved by changing the gut microbiome.
Can MS affect your bowels? Some people with MS will never experience bowel problems, but up to 7 in 10 people with MS will get a bowel problem at some stage, either constipation or incontinence (leakage). Bowel problems can be embarrassing and distressing. But discussing the issue and getting the right support and advice can help.