Encopresis, also referred to as “fecal soiling”, can be described as a behavioural disorder where the patient (usually a child), has an uncontrolled bowel movements that results in the soiling of his or her pants. This disorder is normally linked to constipation, and it involves the backing up or piling up of stool inside the intestines. The problem may occur between 2 to 3 times a days, however, there are some severe cases whereby a child suffers from the problem for more than 5 times a day. If not handled early, encopresis may continue for years and until the child reaches the age of puberty.
What are the symptoms of Encopresis?
Aside soiled under-pant, other symptoms of Encopresis include;
- Lack of appetite,
- UTI (urinary tract infection),
- Agitation and irritation or restlessness, and
- Abdominal pains.
How can one handle Encopresis in kids suffering from ADHD?
The shame and guilt of suffering from Encopresis often lead to the victim being teased by pairs or friends in school and social gatherings, especially when the problem becomes known to people. The secret to handling Encopresis is to develop a strategy for normalizing bowel movements. There are four objectives of handling encopresis in kids, these are;
- To restore regular bowel habits in the kid,
- To reduce stool retention in the body,
- To establish a normal physiological control over the functioning of the bowels, and
- To defuse the tension an anxiety brought to the family by the child’s encopresis symptoms.
In order to accomplish all these goals, you have to deal with both the physical and medical aspects of the symptoms and causes of the problems, through the following steps;
Step #1: It is important to cleanse the child’s intestine with recommended medications, especially in the first week of treatment. Enemas or laxatives are usually recommended in order to empty the child’s intestinal tracts and shrink it back to its normal size.
Step #2: The next phase after the medication phase is the maintenance phase that starts roughly between 5th and 7th day of treatment. During this phase, you need to help the child schedule a regular time for which he or she uses the toilet. You may want to schedule this time to early in the morning, once or twice in the afternoon and before the child goes to bed. Regular scheduling of toilet usage is often accompanied with the use of laxatives such as mineral oil, on daily basis.
At the maintenance or management phase, you need to ensure that the child consumes the proper diets- these should include more fluids as well as high fiber stools to help improve the child’s digestive tract. High fiber foods will ensure that the stool becomes bulky and that could reduce the risks of constipation for the child.
The intervention processes highlighted here must not be handled alone by parents in order to avoid any side effects, however, with the supervision of a physician, it can be a lot easier to help the child undergo this therapy effectively and deal with Encopresis.