My son is 5 years old and his doc says that he might have encoprecis, I have been all over the internet looking for infomation about this diagnosis and i have not got any results, I love my son dearly but he keeps pooping in his pants like 4 times a day... It is really frustrating but i know that he has a problem. Please send me any infomation that you have about this subject I would really appreciate it.
Last edited by pumpkin254; 02-20-2005 at 06:50 PM.
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!
thanks so much for the infomaton, This is all new to me, I am a single mom of three and i am very scared about this whoe situation. I am so freatful to you that you took the thine to write to me. My son goes for testing on wensday, so we will see what comes of it, I pray nothing horible is wrong, my son is my only son and I love him very much. Thanks again.
If he is five, and he is able to poop (which he obviously is) and the doc just suspects encopresis, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It is messy and it is not much fun at all, but it is not life threatning.
What tests are they going to do? Xray? Bloodtests (you may want to ask to rule out thyroid problems or celiac disease)? Most likely they will also simply feel his tummy to see if they can feel any impact of poop (if you are constipated your tummy feels hard en full).
If they conclude encopresis please take the time to find an excellent pediatric gastroentorologist. It will safe you much grief to find a person you like and trust, and -more importantly - your son likes and trusts. This takes place at a very intimite part of their bodies!
Let me know what the doc said and feel free to ask more questions! (My daughter has had this problem her whole life and we have gone through most of the tests and trials available: she is doing ok right now but sees an pediatric gastro, a therapist to help her deal with all the accidents in class (kids can be cruel) and an OT to work on muscle tone and motor skills).
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.
Yes, fiber can make the situation worse if you don't drink enough (which actually is a problem with my daughter as well: in the weekends I just give her a glass of water every hour, but on schooldays she sometimes goes the whole day with even a drop of water! And she doesn't get the dehydration headaches either, it is a mirracle!).
We do a "clean out" once a month just by using the bisocal (sp?) tablets. She gets three tablets before going to bed and has a huge amount of poop for the next two days (it is a complete diarrea mess, so we need to do it on Friday night, I don't think the teacher would survive this one!) and we also do a clean out with one tablet if she has been not pooping in the morning and starts to have pee accidents. This is actually the advise we got from the gastro ent and it works well, she hardly has accidents anymore and it makes the whole situation in school easier (accidents, if any, happen at home).
If your son is 11, what is the prognoses for him: will it ever spontaniously heal (the megocolon)?
We lived in a place with no medical facilities for a long time, which I believe led to the megacolon (no proper treatment for the constipation, just local laxatives that were terrible) and we were told to expect things to improve over the next year but the possibility to take our daughter of laxatives in a year or so and get her on a high fiber and high fluid diet.
I do hope this prognoses is correct because it does impact her life so much!
Thanks for the infomation, I really appreciate all that you tell me, The doctor says it might be because he has very bad anxiety and when he experiences extreme emotions he has a bowel movement. Yesterday my children were playing outside and my oldest daughter came running in the house worried about her brother. I went outside and I saw him with his legs crossed and fists clenched also his face was beet red, I asked him what he was doing and if he was alright. Then i put 2 n 2 together and he was holding his poop in, well he goes for an x-ray on wednesday, I will tell you guys how he makes out. Thanks for all your support, I definetly need it, it help out a bunch to know i am not the only one who is going through this. thanks again!
My son is 6, and we just went through a miserable couple of days in the hospital as they "cleaned him out" ("Go Lightly" is a very poor name for the medication used, that's for sure!)
I can totally relate to the frustration you feel/have felt on this. I attempted to deal with the problem long ago, with doctors trying to tell me there was no problem, until very recently when it reached a critical point. (Meanwhile I also changed doctors for him 5 times before finding a good one that I finally feel secure in taking him to, and who finally helped him.)
Now he's on a perscription laxative once a day and slight changes in his diet (which was already aimed at reducing his constipation via my own research.. and better for the whole family anyway) and so far, so good. He still has the occasional "accident" but that is typical from what I am told. His colon will take some time before reaching it's "normal" state and work properly. He is still embarassed by his accidents (thankfully they're FAR less now) but he's overall a much happier and obviously healthier, kid now.
The complete cleanout, especially when it happens in a hospital, is just terrifying! Especially for kids!
With my daughter (now 7) I keep a very close eye on the accidents. With her it usually starts with wet pants (colon pressing on the bladder) and as soon as we have two days of that I give her bisacodyl or sennakot (the latter being the more aggressive). We go through a day of complete mess (it is a mini clean out) and then we go back to the laxatives (Miralax) twice a day. She can be fine for weeks on end, end then all of a sudden it is back with a vengeance!
Sounds like your son developed megacolon as well. My daughters gastro ent. told us it will take a year or more, with relapse coming less frequent as time passes, to shrink back to normal, and for normal muscle tone in the bowel to return.
My girl is in the middle of a relapse right now, with two or three accidents a day. Somehow we can't really get a grip on this one, so she might need to come in again for an X-Ray, just to check how her colon is doing.
We have just decided to use and OT as well. My daughter is very bright and doing very well in school, but her handwriting is really terrible and her doc said her sensory development lacks terribly and using an OT might give her more control over her body. We'll see.
You asked how things were going for my son. About 3 weeks past we started him on something new and it has worked wonders.
I bought the specific products that are discussed in the books "Gut Solutions" and "Renew Your Life" by Brenda Watson. The company is called RenewLife and easy to search online. I have seen the products in all the healthfood stores.
My son is currently still on the bowel cleansing products called CleanseSmart, and taking the added oils and acidopholis (we use Jarrodopholis.) He does not take the extra fiber, that's too difficult for him to swallow, and just not practical for a child in my opinion. I do make occasional bran muffins, feed him healthy hot cereal for breakfast every other day or so, with added ground flax. I am trying to incorporate more ground flax into our family diet, it seems a much healthier form of fiber than psyllium and such.
My son has regular daily bowel movements, says he can feel them (this is a first) and his tummy is flat again. I am watching his face to see if the dark circles under his eyes disappear (same as the mother of the autistic child with the bowel problems mentioned.)
I'll report back in a few more weeks again. Oh, and no senna in this product, the capsule taken in the morning (on the bowel cleanse) contains herbs to support different organs, and the evening capsule is magnesium oxide based. I really wanted him off the senna based products. Forceful elimination is not was is desired. Natural is the goal. Once we are done with this set of capsules (will be 2 months as we are using it at 1/2 strength) we will try the daily cleanse system, and hopefully will have found what he needs for a life time of pooping happiness...LOL.
Actually I can relate with ya Annie. I'm 19 and been through 6 weeks of hell well make it 9 seen how I'm not really an emergency to get a colonoscopy ahaha.
Had the squirts at first for 2 weeks then constipation for 2 weeks. Developped a gut thanks to it and slowly lossed my hungr sensation. Getting it back now seen how the gradual weight loss effected me at work but always eating at work cuz bruning too much energy. Weighed 145 before this now 133 slowly going back up with the abdomen slowly decreasing.
What bothered me is how I lossed all the weight on my limbs arms,legs, back, yet the front stomach to lower abdomen retained the fat.
Taking Metamucil, All Bran. I'd sugest put a wee bit of sugar in it can taste like mush.
kifer, yogourt I'd recommend apple with cinnamon tastes great doesnt upset the system at all.
Harry is always right on the ball. Feeling greater day by day now.
I feel for all of you though. Apparently I had this problem when I was a child very colic till 4 then constipation but would pass in a week.