About the disease
Encopresis (bowel incontinence) is the constant state of diarrhea, which is more common in children than adults. During encopresis patient experiences involuntary fecal soiling. Children usually have it at the age of 3 or 4, when they have already been toilet trained. Encopresis (bowel incontinence) is considered to be one of the most difficult diseases in the pediatrics. As a matter of fact involuntary fecal incontinence can be accompanied by urine enuresis. Bowel incontinence usually occurs during the day, when a child is playing or simply walking. In this case he can suddenly feel involuntary defecation. Sometimes the urge to use the toilet may be too strong and unpredicted which makes child stressed not being able to control his body functions properly.
The most common cause of this condition cause is constipation, which children may have experienced for a long time. Sometimes stool withholding can be caused by certain psychological or neurological disorders and in that case a patient is diagnosed with neurological encopresis. Usually children who have problems at home may develop bowel incontinence as a way to express a protest towards something. Sometimes sudden fear can also trigger future encopresis. Such fear may happen if a child was attacked by a dog or if he saw something unpleasant or frightening. In rare cases even excitement can cause diarrhea, if the patient is over emotional. If child underwent some kind of surgery at a very young age, he can subsequently develop encopresis.
- Involuntary bowel defecation
- Spontaneous bowel movements
- Deep sleep at night. when it`s very difficult to wake up a child
- Delay in psychomotor development
- Emotional deprivation
Encopresis symptoms are in most cases psychological and manifesting in constant depression, because usually children who have encopresis are teased by their peers and children of their own age. Before children are diagnosed, parents may also scold them, which can result in another psychological trauma. Diagnosis is based on general examination and laboratory tests.
Encopresis treatment is long and requires parents` patience. First of all, child needs to control bowel movement. To do so parents have to ask child to use toilet every hour. Children with bowel encopresis are usually very agitated, that`s why they forget to check if they want to defecate. Some parents whose children have bowel incontinence use alarm clock to always remind their children about their condition.
- Artificial sphincter implantation is performed if bowel incontinence was caused by damaged sphincter tissues and it needs to be replaced with the new one.
- Sphincter reconstruction is a surgery during which the damaged sphincter is repaired.
- Psychological help of the pediatric psychologist. Usually, if the child has neurotic encopresis he needs the help of the pediatric psychologist, because the disease may vanish on its own if the emotional state of the patient improves. In most cases children with neurotic encopresis undergo psychological therapy, where the doctor tries to create a completely peaceful state of mind of the child by helping him to develop resistance to stressful situations. If there was some traumatic experience, a doctor tries to make the child forget the most painful memories, foster his self-confidence, courage and perseverance. If psychological disorders are too severe, the child is prescribed with tranquilizers to fight the bad mood, irritability, tearfulness, sleep disorders, and lack of appetite. In case there are problems in school of certain character, the child is advised to change the school or in some cases even the city to have new environment and to leave all negative emotions behind.