Encopresis (A Guide for Parents)

Encopresis
Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.

This article is representing the Encopresis problems, which is swelling in stool and mainly found in children. The in-depth analysis will focus on the symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment ways to cure the problem or illness.

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Encopresis is mainly a swilling of underwear in children by stool who had completed the age of their toilet training. Because each child has its system of bowel control at its specific rates. The doctors and medical professionals do not consider a swelling of stool an illness or medical issue unless the child turns 4. 

What is Encopresis? 

Encopresis is mainly the soiling in stool, and this stool or fecal soiling has usually had an origin physically, and this is also involuntary. According to the research, around 1%-2% of children younger than ten years may face the issue of Encopresis. The ratio of boys is more as compared to girls suffering from Encopresis. About 80% of boys are affected by Encopresis.

Encopresis is sometimes called fecal incontinence. It is due to repeated passing in the stool. This mainly happens when the impacted stool is collected in the rectum and colon as it becomes full. Around the retained seat, the liquid starts leaking because of the colon that becomes full, and that makes staining underwear.

Eventually, the retention in school mostly causes swelling of bowels, and over the bowel movements, it loses control. After the age of 4, Encopresis mostly occurs, and this happens 

when the child already learns to use the toilet. Soiling is mainly a symptom of chronic constipation. Without constipation, it mostly occurs less frequently, and the result of this problem will end up in emotional issues. 

For parents, Encopresis can be frustrating, and the child starts irritating the parents due to pain and discomfort. Well, the positive reinforcement and patience the treatment for Encopresis have become successful, and children will get out of this condition. 

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Signs and Symptoms of Encopresis

There are some of the signs and symptoms of Encopresis are clear to make sure about the disease. Some of the symptoms of Encopresis are mentioned as under.

  1. Constipation with hard or dry stool.
  2. Liquid stool or leakage of a seat on the underwear.
  3. Significant stool passage through which the toilet gets clogs.
  4. The movements of the bowel are avoided
  5. The actions of the gut take an extended period.
  6. Appetite is lacking.
  7. Children feel abdominal pain 
  8. The children face a problem with bedtime wetting and daytime wetting.
  9. The bladder gets infected continuously, and this is mostly found in girls.

Around 80 percent of children experience the Encopresis have faced the worst part of constipation and defecation in the past. Many children with Encopresis said when passing a bowel movement, they do not have any urge before they soil in their underwear. 

During the day time, soiling mostly occurs In Encopresis when the child is completely awake and active. Mostly children stain in the afternoon when returning from school. Soiling at night time is uncommon. The colon of some children become stretched out of shape, which is suffering from Encopresis, so the vast movements of the bowel can be passed intermittently. 

Conditions to See the Doctor.

The following are some of the conditions in which the patient must visit the doctor are mentioned as under. 

  • Recurrent constipation and severe persistent.
  • During bowel movements, children feel pain
  • Get reluctance during bowel movements that mainly include the strain which holds the stool inside.

Causes of Encopresis        

By the anatomic disease or abnormality, Encopresis is mainly caused, and the child is born with this disease. In the majority of cases, the Encopresis is mostly developed as a result of constipation that was long-standing or chronic. Illness is mainly a movement of the bowel that does not pass daily. 

Well, every person has different schedules for the bowel movements. When it comes to children, they mostly have bowel movements every 2nd or 3rd day. Nott only frequent bowel movements are part of constipation, but people also face difficulty during passing it or have a lot of pain as well.

Many children with Encopresis bear a lot of pain while passing such large stools with pain and difficulty. Before Encopresis starts, this condition occurs, but most children do not remember this thing when the doctor asks them. The child may express reluctance towards bowel movements and try to hold it for avoiding pain. The children make a habit of keeping their bowel movements inside the stomach to get rid of the pain, and that is what is dangerous.

Later on in Encopresisthat incoordination of muscles will start, which mostly used to pass bowel movements. The anal sphincter mainly contracts in some children when the children try to push hard the bowel movements. The coordination of muscles gets disturbed, and the muscles do not function properly. Then the retention of fecal is caused due to this action.

Reasons for Constipation

  • According to the specialists, the problem of constipation occurs in children when they do not eat enough fiber that is needed by the body, so it results in illness. 
  • According to some doctors, the reason for constipation in children is that they do not drink enough water. 
  • There are individual families in which the problem of constipation is widespread. That is why the children are inherent with the constipation problem.
  • There are no such specific causes for the children having constipation.
  • Many parents believe that the causes of constipation are laziness. If their children are having a constipation issue and they are slow, so it means their negligence is the leading cause.
  • Children suffering from the problem of Encopresis are not like other children, or we can say they are not living a healthy life, they are spending every day in pain and discomfort. They are also facing emotional and behavior problems.

Medical Test Required for Assessing Encopresis

When consulting the doctor, the parents will be asked different questions by the doctor related to the child’s issue and family history. Some of the items will be described like food intake, water intake, swelling, a Blood test is not part of the evaluation of Encopresis. An X-ray has been taken of the lower abdomen, or the pelvis performs just for determining how much quantity of stool is available in the colon and how much rectum got enlarged.

A barium enema is mostly performed for this judgment. This x-ray is of particular type during the test. The doctor will see the way the child is using its pelvic, abdominal, and anal muscles during the defecation. Many children are having the constipation of chronic or Encopresis; they do not prefer to use their flesh with the coordination during the process of bowel movements. The primary purpose of the manometer abdomen is that the pressure that increased in the anus. 

Treating Encopresis at Home

By the recommendation of child health care, the parents will follow a regimen, mostly treatment of Encopresis is done at home. The main thing for treating at home is that parents or whoever is looking after the child must keep a proper medical record of the child. The movements of the bowel must be followed in history during the period of medication. In determining whether the treatment of Encopresis is working or not, the maintenance of medical and bowel movement records is essential. 

For treating the Encopresis according to the time, different types of regimens have been developed. There are some of the principles that are designed for the treatment. Some of the main principles are: 

  • The colon of the stool should be empty.
  • Must establish the bowel movements that are soft and painless.
  • Regular bowel habits can be maintained

To the chronic Encopresis, there is always a significant component of behavioral, the therapy of behavior that is done alone that includes offering different types of rewards to the child. But usually, this method is not valid. The combination of therapy and medication always works best, and the child always gives a positive response, and Encopresis gets recover easily and quickly. The stool should be removed from the rectum or colon, or if not, then the doctor will remove it manually. So, in that case, the evacuation is required and applied in the given ways.

1) Give Enema Once or Several Times

The enema helps in pushing the fluid towards the rectum. It helps in softening the stool in the rectum, and the rectum pushes the seat out by creating pressure. A powerful urge is given to a child be this pressure so the child can pass a bowel movement easily. That is how the child can rapidly expel the stool.

2) Give Suppository Once or Several Times

A suppository is known as a capsule or a tablet that is used to insert into the rectum. A suppository is usually made of different substances that help in stimulating for contracting and expelling the stool. It also helps in softening the seat, and it helps in drawing the extra into the bowel from the body.

3) Giving Strong Laxatives

The laxatives mostly work like increasing the flow of water into the intestine. Laxatives also work in increasing the secrete water in the lower intestine and also work by decreasing the water that is already absorbed in the lower intestine. This water that is very large in the amount helps in softening the stool and creates diarrhea. 

Laxatives are mostly used for several purposes that include GoLYTELY, magnesium citrate, Miralax, and products of ACOLYTE. For evacuating the colon, the treatment is needed for several days, and it will be beautiful.

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Helpful Resources

  1. For understanding the concept of Encopresis parents must read
  1. Get to know the solutions for constipation by reading
  1. A great guidance for parents for dealing the constipation of their children
  1. Best the Encopresis by going through different solutions by reading
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Conclusion

Many parents ignore the problem of stool in children, and they do not overlook the matter, and that is what creates substantial constipation issues that will later become the Encopresis problemThe children may also experience profound distress and anxiety while dealing with this ailment. 

This article was focusing on the leading causes of Encopresis. Different methods of treatments were mentioned, which you can do at home, and this affects the behavior of children, and they become aggressive. This is a painful problem that substantially undermines the overall quality of life and well-being, therefore it needs to be treated with utmost care. 

FAQ

How do you treat Encopresis?

There are different ways to treat Encopresis and monitoring at home and by using medications it can be treated.

What causes Encopresis?

Encopresis is caused due to severe constipation.

Can a child outgrow Encopresis?

Yes Encopresis can get bigger or worse if not treated on time.

How do you treat a child with Encopresis?

By using suppository, enema a child can be treated to remove the problem. For treating Encopresis constipation needs to be resolved first. 

What is Encopretic behavior?

The behavior of encopretic includes aggression in children, anger, discomfort etc.

What is functional Encopresis?

Functional Encopresis means involuntary fecal soiling in your underpants.

Resources

  1. Encopresis
  2. Encopresis 
  3. Soiling Encopresis
  4. Encopresis in Children
  5. Encopresis

Encopresis (A Guide for Parents)