My son is 5.5 years and is potty trained from the age of 2 but recently he started popping in his pants. For the first time I didn’t take it seriously as he is a kid so I though might have happen as he was busy playing. But when it happened for second time I got worried as he is old enough to sense the signals. In a same day it happened twice so I immediately called his doctor and he told me about Encopresis.
What is Encopresis ?
Encopresis (en-ko-PREE-sis) is the repeated passing of stool (usually involuntarily) into clothing. Typically it happens when impacted stool collects in the colon and rectum: the colon becomes too full and liquid stool leaks around the retained stool, staining underwear of potty trained kids. In simple words you can say it is the soiling of underwear with stool by children who are past the age of toilet training.
Some of the signs and symptoms of encopresis may include:
Though each child’s symptoms may vary but some of the common ones are
- Having loose, watery stools
- Leakage of stool or liquid stool on underwear, which can be mistaken for 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
- Abdominal pain
- Problems with daytime wetting or bedwetting (enuresis)
- Repeated bladder infections, typically in girls
Now you must be wondering what’s the reason behind as the kid is well trained and old enough to poop. So basically any child who has long-term (chronic) constipation may develop encopresis and the reasons for constipation can be following
- Eating a high-fat, high-sugar, junk-food diet
- Drinking mostly soft drinks and sugary drinks
- Not drinking enough water and fruit juices
- Lack of exercise
- Not wanting to use public bathrooms
- Feeling stressed with family, with friends, or at school
- Being too busy playing to take time to use the bathroom
- Having a change in bathroom routine.
Is it Curable ?
It is curable but the treatment depends on child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. It’s treatment may include:
- Keeping bowel movements soft so the stool will pass easily
- Retraining the intestine and rectum to gain control over bowel movements
- Changing the eating habits of the child and ensuring fibre rich food in the diet