Advertisement

Encopresis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encopresis


DEFINITION

Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child's colon is full of impacted stool, liquid stool can leak around the impacted stool and out of the anus, staining your child's underwear.

Encopresis usually occurs after age 4, when your child has already learned to use a toilet. In most cases, Encopresis is a symptom of chronic constipation. Less frequently, it may be the result of developmental or emotional issues.

Doctors categorize Encopresis as primary or secondary. Primary Encopresis happens in a child who has never been successfully toilet trained. In secondary Encopresis, a child develops the condition after having been successfully toilet trained.

Encopresis can be frustrating for you and embarrassing for your child. However, with patience and positive reinforcement, treatment for Encopresis is usually successful.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of Encopresis may include:

  • Leakage of stool or liquid stool on your child's underwear. If the amount of leakage is large, you may misinterpret it as Diarrhea.
  • Constipation with dry, hard stool.
  • Passage of large stool that clogs or almost clogs the toilet.
  • Avoidance of bowel movements.
  • Long periods of time between bowel movements, possibly as long as a week.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Repeated Urinary tract infections.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if your child is already toilet trained and starts experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above.

CAUSES

There are several causes of Encopresis. The most common are:

  • Constipation. Most cases of Encopresis are the result of chronic constipation. In Constipation, the child's stool is hard, dry and may be painful to pass. As a result, the child avoids going to the toilet making the problem worse. The longer the stool remains in the colon, the more difficult it is for the child to push stool out. The colon stretches, ultimately affecting the nerves that signal when it's time to go to the toilet. When the colon becomes too full, soft or liquid stool may leak out.

Common causes of Constipation include withholding stool due to fear of using the toilet (especially when away from home) or not wanting to interrupt play, eating too little fiber or not drinking enough Fluids. Sometimes, an allergy to cow's milk or drinking too much cow's milk leads to Constipation, although Milk allergy causes Diarrhea more often than Constipation.

  • Emotional issues. Emotional stress also may trigger Encopresis. A child may experience stress from premature toilet training or an important life change for instance, the divorce of a parent or the birth of a sibling.

RISK FACTORS

These risk factors may increase your child's chances of having Encopresis:

  • Sex of the child. Encopresis is more common in boys.
  • Chronic constipation. This may cause your child to avoid passing stool.
  • Not drinking enough Fluids. This aggravates existing Constipation.

COMPLICATIONS

A child who has Encopresis may experience a range of emotions, including embarrassment, frustration, shame and anger. If your child is teased by friends or chastised by adults, he or she may feel depressed or have low self-esteem.

Early treatment, including guidance from a mental health provider, can help prevent the social and emotional impact of Encopresis.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

In addition to asking about your child's symptoms, your child's doctor may:

  • Conduct a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam to check for impacted stool. During this exam, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your child's rectum while pressing on his or her abdomen with the other hand.
  • Recommend an abdominal X-ray to confirm the presence of impacted stool.
  • Suggest that a psychological evaluation be conducted to help determine contributing factors for your child's symptoms.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Generally, the earlier that treatment begins for Encopresis, the better. The first step involves clearing the colon of retained, impacted stool. After that, treatment focuses on encouraging healthy bowel movements. This includes training your child to go to the toilet as soon as reasonably able when the urge to have a bowel movement occurs.

There are several methods for clearing the colon and relieving Constipation. Your child's doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following:

  • Stool softeners, such as lactulose
  • Colon lubricants, such as mineral oil
  • Rectal suppositories
  • Enemas
  • More oral Fluids

Your child's doctor may recommend abdominal X-rays to check the progress of the colon clearing.

Once the colon has been cleared, it's important to encourage your child to have regular bowel movements. In addition to recommending self-care measures, such as a high-fiber diet and drinking lots of Fluids, your child's doctor may recommend the use of stool softeners for six months or more.

Psychotherapy

If your child feels shame, guilt, Depression or low self-esteem related to Encopresis, talk therapy (psychotherapy) can be helpful. A psychologist can help your child deal with these feelings and may also give you techniques for teaching your child not to hold stool. Ask your child's doctor for a recommendation.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

Help your child avoid Constipation by providing a diet high in fiber and encouraging your child to drink plenty of water.

Educate yourself on effective toilet training techniques. Avoid starting too early or being too forceful in your methods. Wait until your child is ready, and then use positive reinforcement and encouragement to help him or her progress.

Most children aren't ready for toilet training until after their second birthdays. Some guidelines for readiness include:

  • Your child is able to pull pants down
  • Your child can ask one-word questions
  • Your child has an interest in stopping activities when body sensations indicate a bowel movement is needed

When your child seems ready, make sure your child's feet are firmly planted on a stool or the floor not dangling so that he or she feels secure and can push.

Encopresis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encopresis


DEFINITION

Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child's colon is full of impacted stool, liquid stool can leak around the impacted stool and out of the anus, staining your child's underwear.

Encopresis usually occurs after age 4, when your child has already learned to use a toilet. In most cases, Encopresis is a symptom of chronic constipation. Less frequently, it may be the result of developmental or emotional issues.

Doctors categorize Encopresis as primary or secondary. Primary Encopresis happens in a child who has never been successfully toilet trained. In secondary Encopresis, a child develops the condition after having been successfully toilet trained.

Encopresis can be frustrating for you and embarrassing for your child. However, with patience and positive reinforcement, treatment for Encopresis is usually successful.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of Encopresis may include:

  • Leakage of stool or liquid stool on your child's underwear. If the amount of leakage is large, you may misinterpret it as Diarrhea.
  • Constipation with dry, hard stool.
  • Passage of large stool that clogs or almost clogs the toilet.
  • Avoidance of bowel movements.
  • Long periods of time between bowel movements, possibly as long as a week.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Repeated Urinary tract infections.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if your child is already toilet trained and starts experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above.

CAUSES

There are several causes of Encopresis. The most common are:

  • Constipation. Most cases of Encopresis are the result of chronic constipation. In Constipation, the child's stool is hard, dry and may be painful to pass. As a result, the child avoids going to the toilet making the problem worse. The longer the stool remains in the colon, the more difficult it is for the child to push stool out. The colon stretches, ultimately affecting the nerves that signal when it's time to go to the toilet. When the colon becomes too full, soft or liquid stool may leak out.

Common causes of Constipation include withholding stool due to fear of using the toilet (especially when away from home) or not wanting to interrupt play, eating too little fiber or not drinking enough Fluids. Sometimes, an allergy to cow's milk or drinking too much cow's milk leads to Constipation, although Milk allergy causes Diarrhea more often than Constipation.

  • Emotional issues. Emotional stress also may trigger Encopresis. A child may experience stress from premature toilet training or an important life change for instance, the divorce of a parent or the birth of a sibling.

RISK FACTORS

These risk factors may increase your child's chances of having Encopresis:

  • Sex of the child. Encopresis is more common in boys.
  • Chronic constipation. This may cause your child to avoid passing stool.
  • Not drinking enough Fluids. This aggravates existing Constipation.

COMPLICATIONS

A child who has Encopresis may experience a range of emotions, including embarrassment, frustration, shame and anger. If your child is teased by friends or chastised by adults, he or she may feel depressed or have low self-esteem.

Early treatment, including guidance from a mental health provider, can help prevent the social and emotional impact of Encopresis.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

In addition to asking about your child's symptoms, your child's doctor may:

  • Conduct a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam to check for impacted stool. During this exam, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your child's rectum while pressing on his or her abdomen with the other hand.
  • Recommend an abdominal X-ray to confirm the presence of impacted stool.
  • Suggest that a psychological evaluation be conducted to help determine contributing factors for your child's symptoms.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Generally, the earlier that treatment begins for Encopresis, the better. The first step involves clearing the colon of retained, impacted stool. After that, treatment focuses on encouraging healthy bowel movements. This includes training your child to go to the toilet as soon as reasonably able when the urge to have a bowel movement occurs.

There are several methods for clearing the colon and relieving Constipation. Your child's doctor will likely recommend one or more of the following:

  • Stool softeners, such as lactulose
  • Colon lubricants, such as mineral oil
  • Rectal suppositories
  • Enemas
  • More oral Fluids

Your child's doctor may recommend abdominal X-rays to check the progress of the colon clearing.

Once the colon has been cleared, it's important to encourage your child to have regular bowel movements. In addition to recommending self-care measures, such as a high-fiber diet and drinking lots of Fluids, your child's doctor may recommend the use of stool softeners for six months or more.

Psychotherapy

If your child feels shame, guilt, Depression or low self-esteem related to Encopresis, talk therapy (psychotherapy) can be helpful. A psychologist can help your child deal with these feelings and may also give you techniques for teaching your child not to hold stool. Ask your child's doctor for a recommendation.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

Help your child avoid Constipation by providing a diet high in fiber and encouraging your child to drink plenty of water.

Educate yourself on effective toilet training techniques. Avoid starting too early or being too forceful in your methods. Wait until your child is ready, and then use positive reinforcement and encouragement to help him or her progress.

Most children aren't ready for toilet training until after their second birthdays. Some guidelines for readiness include:

  • Your child is able to pull pants down
  • Your child can ask one-word questions
  • Your child has an interest in stopping activities when body sensations indicate a bowel movement is needed

When your child seems ready, make sure your child's feet are firmly planted on a stool or the floor not dangling so that he or she feels secure and can push.

More Latest Articles

Endometriosis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Endometriosis

Symptoms Causes & Risk Factors Diagnosis & Tests Treatment & drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Endometriosis is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus the endometrium grows outside your uterus (endometrial implant). Endometriosis most commonly involves y...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encephalitis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment & drugs and Complications of Encephalitis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis & Tests Treatment and drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition.

Encephalitis can cause Flu-like symptoms, such as a Fever or severe headache. It can also cau...
>>>Continue Reading...

Bell's palsy and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Bell's palsy

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment Drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Bell's palsy causes sudden weakness in your facial muscles. This makes half of your face appear to droop. Your smile is one-sided, and your eye on that side resists closing.

Bell's palsy, al...
>>>Continue Reading...

Factitious disorder and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Factitious disorder

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment and drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Factitious disorder is a serious mental disorder in which someone deceives others by appearing sick, by purposely getting sick, or by self-injury. Factitious disorder symptoms can range from mild (slight exagg...
>>>Continue Reading...

Bell's palsy and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Bell's palsy

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Bell's palsy causes sudden weakness in your facial muscles. This makes half of your face appear to droop. Your smile is one-sided, and your eye on that side resists closing.

Bell's palsy, al...
>>>Continue Reading...

Eisenmenger syndrome and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Eisenmenger syndrome

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Eisenmenger syndrome is a complication of a heart defect that you're born with (congenital). A heart defect that causes a hole (shunt) to develop between two chambers of your heart is the most common cause...
>>>Continue Reading...

Pulmonary embolism and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Pulmonary embolism

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or, rarely, other parts of ...
>>>Continue Reading...

Emphysema and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Emphysema

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Emphysema gradually damages the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs, making you progressively more short of breath. Emphysema is one of several diseases known collectively as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encephalitis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encephalitis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. Viral infections are the most common cause of the condition.

Encephalitis can cause Flu-like symptoms, such as a Fever or severe headache. It can also cau...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encopresis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encopresis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child's colon is full of impact...
>>>Continue Reading...

Encopresis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Encopresis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child's colon is full of impact...
>>>Continue Reading...

Atrioventricular canal defect and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Atrioventricular canal defect 

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Atrioventricular canal defect is a combination of several abnormalities in the heart present at birth (congenital abnormalities). This defect, which is sometimes called endocardial cushion defect or atriovent...
>>>Continue Reading...

Endocarditis and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs, Complications of Endocarditis

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium).

Endocarditis generally occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread thr...
>>>Continue Reading...

Endometrial Cancer and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Endometrial Cancer 

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Endometrial Cancer is a type of Cancer that begins in the uterus. The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped pelvic organ in women where fetal development occurs.

Endometrial Cancer begins in the la...
>>>Continue Reading...

Uterine polyps(endometrial polyps) and their Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors, Diagnosis & Tests, Treatment and drugs and Complications of Uterine polyps(endometrial polyps)

Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Diagnosis Tests Treatment drugs Complications

DEFINITION

Uterine polyps are growths attached to the inner wall of the uterus that extend into the uterine cavity. Overgrowth of cells in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) leads to the formation of Uterine polyps...
>>>Continue Reading...