encopresis

Treat Encopresis Naturally

Encopresis, fecal incontinence in children, affects a fair percentage of kids after their toilet training years, mostly between  four and twelve. It can also affect the elderly and the mentally ill. It is predominantly seen in children who have a history of constipation which affects both their desire to pass stools on the toilet and their ability to recognize that they need to have a bowel movement as the nerves and muscles become damaged and worn out. Many children will become used to the smell associated with encopresis and stop noticing when these ‘accidents’ occur. Children who suffer from encopresis need treatment as the constipation will eventually become an impaction that requires medical care to remove.

 

How do I know if I my child has encopresis?

  • Poop or liquid stool in the underwear when your child isn’t ill
  • Hard poop or pain during bowel movements
  • Toilet stopping bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite

 

How do I prevent encopresis?

The best way to prevent encopresis is to be aware of your child’s bowel movements and toilet habits. If they are prone to constipation or painful bowel movements be proactive with fiber and keep them hydrated to help form softer stools that are passed more easily.

Never blame your child for an accident. In the case of encopresis they cannot help it.

 

How can I treat encopresis?

  • Be patient. Encopresis is not caused by laziness or behavior problems and your child needs you to be patient with them as they struggle with this.
  • Marshmallow root helps to make stools moister and softer.
  • Encourage your child to eat yogurt with probiotics and a teaspoon of olive oil in the morning. Probiotics help keep damaged intestines working and the olive oil helps to stimulate bile production which will help pass stools.
  • Remove allergy-related foods such as dairy and gluten for a month to give the body time to recover. Slowly add them back in, one at a time, and eliminate any immediately that cause problems.
  • Work on building good bathroom habits. Set up toilet times after meals to help them.
  • Give them a footstool to help get into a position that is comfortable.
  • Remind your child to drink, drink, drink. Water, fruit juice, anything but milk as dairy can lead to constipation and digestive problems.
  • Offer foods made with whole wheat flour, raisins, prunes and pureed apples to up their fiber intake.
  • Add a little bit of bran to each of their meals.
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One Response to Treat Encopresis Naturally

  1. Verena says:

    When my autistic son was 2.5 years old he started withholding bm’s. His verbal and communications skills were very limited. He wasn’t toilet trained at that point either and prior to this he had never had issues with bowel movements. It all started after a run of antibiotics for an ear infection. During the that treatment he started holding his bm’s. This was the beginning of 10 months of pure stress for me. My son held bm’s for up to two weeks despite copious amounts of Restoralax (known as Miralax in the USA). I took him to many doctors who continually told me to give him more restoralax. Alternative natural therapies suggested dietary changes and feeding your child special fruit drinks etc. This wasn’t a possibility for me as my child is on the autism spectrum and changing his diet would have resulted in even more stress – plus he refusedall fruit and smoothies.. I had never had to use diaper cream on this child up to that point but his bum was so sore and red I used the strongest diaper cream out there. So here I was with a child who would hold his poop for two weeks and then would have a poop Explosion (the diaper would fill and overflow with liquid poop, freaking him out even more). He had no incentive to want to poop at this point. At one instance this poop explosion occurred on a playground while on vacation in Quebec, a ten minute car ride from the cottage we stayed at – with nothing to change him with (luckily I had a box of diaper wipes!). I was desperate and made another visit at a children’s outpatient clinic and the result of that was the same: keep giving restoralax. I was also told that anything else such as a laxative would make my son depended on it. This advise continued to fail me. In my desperate search I one day 9 months after this problem started, found a blog of parents with the same issue. Only one parents response had an answer which helped put an end to my sons withholding and soiling issue. This parent recommended to seek treatment with a Gastrointestinal specialist in New York State. His name is Dr Daum and he specializes in treating encopresis. I searched online and found him and called for an appointment the very next day. Luckily he treats long distance and he coaches a program over the phone using senna. I followed Dr Daum’s program and not only did this program help my son stop withholding, he was also toilet trained in less than three days (inclusive of staying dry at night!!). I had previously attempted toilet training with my son numerous times and failed over and over again. I can only praise Dr Daum and thank heavens that I found him! And it is a total myth that (at least Senna) is something your body becomes depended on – of it is used the right way, it is no problem.

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