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Bowel Disorders Message Board

Bowel Disorders Board Index

In short: Encopresis is a way of saying your son has BM accidents, is soiling. It is family of enurises (bedwetting).
In most cases the reason for encopresis is constipation and in most cases the constipation has no medical reason. The child just starting holding the stool, got constipated and started soiling. Constipation simply means the colon is full, and the soiling is actually poop that seaps around the constipation. Children hardly ever do the whole poop in their pants (it would be hard to do 4 whole poops a day!).

In order to make sure your son doesn't develop the next step (megacolon, in which the colon gets stretched out and all sense of "I need to poop" disappears) you need to get the constipation treated NOW. It will means he will get a laxative to clean the whole bowels and once he is clean your doc might first try a high level fiber diet with lots to drink, or he might keep your son on a laxative for a while (my daughter is on it for the fourth year now, she developed mega colon...).

There are a couple of things you need to know. This is not your sons fault. It might look like he chooses to poop his pants to make some sort of point, but really he isn't. Children with this problem typically develop the "I don't care" attitude, which makes it even more look like he has a choice. It is really a difficult problem to handle, but again, try to see it as a medical thing, it might help you to keep your cool when you need to scrape poop out of his undies yet again!
If your doc puts you on a laxative, ask to get miralax. Both MOM or lactulose will not work as well as Miralax (in all reality you could say Miralax is just a high fiber drink).
Get in a routine. This will really help you to solve the problem quicker. Give the laxative before breakfast, give a high fiber cereal and send the child to the potty. Make sure his feet are supported. I always ask my daughter to sing, so it is easier to relax. Sometimes doing some physical exercise helps (jumpingjacks)
Sometimes children with encopresis start wetting their pants during daytime. This is because the bowel presses against the bladder. Once the BM problem is solved, this should go away.
Since he is only four it might not take you very long to clear the problem.

I am not sure I am allowed to give you webpages but if you ****** on encopresis, or soiling you will find some great stuff to read. Or write on this board often!

My son is now 11 and has had encopresis since about age 3. He never had any problems until one extremely large bowel movement cause pain and bleeding. After that he started to hold it. We went through the constant messes. What it is is a blockage of poop (the constipated part) and the new poop leaking past it. That is why they can't feel it or control it.

I found that adding fiber often made it worse, and he did better on laxatives. But....growing up has helped to, but in different ways. He would be somewhat okay for awhile, and then boom, get a "plug-up" as we called it. Then he'd struggle to poop it out. They would be massive. Occasionally he would ask for an enema when he felt so horrible. There is nothing wrong with giving a child an enema for constipation. But a little bottle of fleet may not be the answer. My son could only use plain water, not any of those suppositories or Fleets with sodium whatever in it. We just used a regular enema bag (same as a douche bag.) I've considered bringing him in for colonics, but we aren't there yet. He may find as an adult, that is a choice he makes.

Currently he is doing a cleanse with very gentle supplements, oils, acidopholis and flax seed. He absolutely cannot handle psyillium products due to the extreme bloat and gas.

There are a few wonderful books by Brenda Watson on digestive health, and she has a website and products too (which are what we are using for his cleanse.) My son has pooped daily for the last 3 days, large quantities, which he feels (that is important, as he couldn't feel he had to poop.)

So, do try to get this constipation under control with healthy products, because it will lead to this mega colon situation we are dealing with now.

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