My four year old son has Encopresis, any suggestions on how to help him and me?

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Jill - posted on 03/05/2015

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My son is now 5 and has been struggling since potty training began.I too have cried many tears and suffered from embarrassing moments. At one point I was so frustrated with cleaning underwear, i started throwing them away sometimes! Nothing has worked for us and I'm scared that this will go on forever until I get serious about it. Im going to purchase the cleaning kid manual and pray that it works! Good luck to you

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Jen - posted on 04/10/2016

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My daughter has the exact same thing shes 6yrs old and we've been dealing with this since she was 2.She also has a very slow motlitly and can go as long as 18 days without a bowel movement. As of March 13th she had surgery and got the cecostomy tube and it has been a nighmare, She caught an infection and it hasnt healed at all then it popped out to far so no she is going for surgery this tues to put the button one in.We flush it with 500mls of saline as well as 25mls of glycerene and it hasnt been working, If she does go its just water her stomach is so big i feel like im at a loss i dunno if this will ever work. She has been off school since this took place and cries each time i change the guaze. Im hoping someone on here knows how long exactly it took their child to start having regular bowel movements using this tube im afraid after a few months of this and it doesnt work she will need her bowel taken out.

Kellie - posted on 03/23/2016

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My son is also going through this! I feel your frustration. He has been dealing with this issue since he was 2 and he is now 8. He has had many clean outs using a nasogastric tube in the hospital and he takes so much medication. He takes 30 ml of lactulose twice daily, 3 dulcolax pills and 4 tbsp of mineral oil. That doesn't include the other meds such as zofran for nausea, cyproheptadine for vomiting,and omeprazole for his inflamed esophagus. With all the meds he is still getting backed up and a few months ago had to be manually disimpacted under general anesthesia. He has encopresis, chronic constipation and slow motility. We are on his fifth GI dr now and he has had many tests. He refuses to take miralax and everyday is a fight to get his meds in. He is now to the point of not wanting to drink and we are starting to lose some foods. His dr is now recommending a Cecostomy tube. I'm not sure what to do, or how to help him.

Wendy - posted on 05/20/2015

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I am struggling with this also, my son has hypotonia that has caused this, he is four now. The Dr prescribed Miralax everyday for up to a yr. We have been doing it for 2 months, maybe three accidents. He was doing great. But all of a sudden he won't drink it. So I have been trying to regulate with fruit etc. Some days are good, some days are a nightmare. I am so discouraged. I thinking of homeschooling, because how can I send him to school with this issue?

Carol - posted on 04/19/2015

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Jill Darling, dealing with the same here. Takes lots of patience.
I sent you a message. Did you get it?

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Thank you for the words of encouragement, I am learning to be patient with him and trying not to get frustrated. I believe for him this situation is a result of control. If I don't pay too much attention to him when he does soil himself maybe, just maybe, the situation will start getting better!

Teresa - posted on 02/13/2009

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Dealing with a child with encopresis can be very emotional.  It was extremely so for me before I knew it was a physical problem, and not just a result of my child's complete lack of attention to his body.  My pediatrician has also told me that this problem is much more common than you might think, especially around holidays involving candy & sweets.  (What?  I'm not the only one whose child soils himself?  What a relief!!!)



The best way to deal with it is to lead with a step of preparation.  Send an extra change or two of clothing, along with a plastic bag for soiled items.  Make sure any outside caregivers or teachers know that this is a matter of a health issue of which you are aware.  This will keep them from getting judgmental.  Take steps to clear up the problem, then make sure that his diet is such to prevent future problems.  Your doctor may even recommend a daily stool softener as prevention.  Most likely, there WILL be future recurrences. 



I try to remember that it's a problem my child is susceptible to, just as the common cold.  That helps me deal with it in a way that keeps me from being frustrated with him, as well as remembering that this is a temporary outbreak of a physical problem, and that it WILL get better as I take the necessary steps and precautions.

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How do you as a parent cope...I, at times, get so frustrated and just break down and cry...We are looking into child pyschologist who might me able to help us...

Teresa - posted on 02/10/2009

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My oldest son, too, deals with encopresis.  He is 11, and this has been an ongoing problem for him since he was a toddler. We have had to limit milk and bananas (two of his favorite things), and he now prefers water to anything else.  I can't say enough about hydration!  If I feed my son peanut butter, I also give him popcorn or a pear (grapes would work as well).  In general, stay away from things in the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), unless complemented by plenty of juices or fiber.



Our dr prescribed Miralax for two weeks to get my son's bowels back on track when his constipation reaches the encopresis point, but you'll want to verify that this is what your son's doctor prefers.  Milk of magnesia also helps, but it is nasty stuff that I wouldn't give my worst enemy.  I agree with Kim regarding setting special "potty" times.  Sometimes little boys (I have three boys and a girl) get sidetracked with playing so that going to the bathroom is not important to their active little minds.

Kim - posted on 02/10/2009

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I'm assuming your dr has talked to you about adding fiber to your son's diet and making sure he drinks plenty of liquids. There are also laxatives and stool softeners to keep the stool from becoming impacted and unable to "hold it". These need to be used in conjunction with bowel retraining and behavior modifications, such as, a schedule for using the potty (maybe every 2 hours) and sitting on the potty for a specific amount of time ( like 5-7 minutes, some say 10 or more; I'm not sure what's best) and a reward system for sitting the required time and using the bathroom. I don't know if any of this is helpful, but good luck - it can be frustrating and embarrassing, but it can be fixed!

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