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IBS and Fecal Incontinence

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I'm trying to get my IBS increased from 0% and I have problems with fecal incontinence because of the IBS. I want to file fecal incontinence as secondary to my IBS under loss of sphincter control. My civilian doctor has mentioned the fecal incontinence in my treatment notes, but I'm not sure if I have an actual diagnosis, I'm going to check with my doctor soon to find out.


1. If I don't have an actual diagnosis for FI, how do I get one?

2. Can my family doctor make the diagnosis?

3. Should I ask for a referral to a GI doctor?

4. Other than describing what's happening, is there a way to prove it without crapping my pants in the doctor's office?

I have started an IBS diary where I am also recording when I have FI.

Thanks for any info!

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) VA Ratings

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rates irritable bowel syndrome under 38 CFR § 4.114, diagnostic code 7319 for Irritable Colon Syndrome.  VA disability ratings for IBS range from 0 to 10 to 30 percent, depending on the severity of symptoms.  The criteria for each VA IBS rating are as follows:

  • 0 percent (noncompensable) – VA assigns veterans a 0 percent rating if they exhibit mild symptoms of IBS, such as “disturbances of bowel function with occasional episodes of abdominal distress.”  Although this rating is noncompensable, veterans may still qualify for other VA benefits, such as VA health care.
  • 10 percent –  VA assigns veterans a 10 percent rating if they exhibit moderate symptoms of IBS, such as “frequent episodes of bowel disturbance with abdominal distress.”  Examples of bowel disturbance include episodes of diarrhea, severe gas, and bloating.
  • 30 percent – VA assigns veterans a 30 percent rating, the highest rating for IBS, if they exhibit severe symptoms, such as “diarrhea, or alternating diarrhea and constipation, with more or less constant abdominal distress.”  To receive this rating, veterans must show that their IBS causes them to be almost constantly in pain.  This is an appropriate rating for veterans with daily IBS episodes.

Severity and frequency of IBS symptoms vary from person to person, so veterans should always report their symptoms to VA.  Irritable bowel syndrome can be severe at times and then disappear completely at other times, so it is important to clearly outline symptoms and frequency of episodes when applying for service connection or an increased rating.

fecal incontinence

The VA disability ratings for bowel incontinence are tiered at 0%, 10%, 30%, 60%, and 100%. This disability rating is defined under VA diagnostic code 7332 which outlines the rating required for disabilities of the rectum, anus, and sphincter. The VA issues a disability rating to determine the extent to which a disorder impacts a veteran’s ability to function. The rating is higher if the veteran suffers from chronic complications due to the disability, and it is lower if the conditions are intermittent.

The VA allocates the below ratings for bowel incontinence:

  • 0% rating if you have slight impairment of the rectum, anus, and sphincter but no leakage.
  • 10% rating if you experience continuous but low or intermittent moderate leakage.
  • 30% rating if you need to wear a pad because you experience reflexive bowel movements.
  • 60% rating if you have substantial leakage and sufficiently frequent reflexive bowel movements.
  • 100% rating if you completely lose control of your sphincter muscles.


here is one where the veteran did have both rated.  I would say go for both.  They seem to be different

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If you are rated at 0 percent, then you apparently already have a diagnosis sufficient for VA.  

Since you are service connected, to get an increase you dont need to fuss too much with the CALuza elements AGAIN (diagnosis, in service event and nexus), but instead focus on how your symptoms got worse, and meet the criteria, above.  

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