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Faecal Incontinence, Anyone else's child going through it?

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#1 Oceana79

Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:45 PM

My DD just turned 6. She toilet trained really well by 2.5 yrs with both poo's and wees. She has never had a problem going to the toilet until about 5 months ago. She was coming home from school with poo in her pants. I thought she wasn't wiping properly but the poo was really dark and really really smelly. This went on for a few weeks and so I took her to the Dr and they did an x ray which showed her was very full in her belly. So he put her on parachoc and after about 6 weeks we eased her off it and for about 3 months she has been really good. But only last week she was soiling her pants again so she is back on the parachoc until I can make another appointment with  my GP.
Is anyone else going through something similar?

#2 Electro

Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:57 PM

It's called Encopresis and my 6yo boy is currently a patient at the RCH Encopresis clinic.

It's quite common (well, massive waiting lists to get into this outpatient clinic). It's basically from continually withholding poo where two main things happen.
1. The poo builds up but also loses moisture (lubricant!) and is therefore painful to get out.  This leads to a cycle of associating pooing with pain, therefore withholding...and so the cycle starts.

2. The Colon eventually stretches and in doing so, loses that sensation message to the brain of needing to go.  Eventually there's so much dehydrated poo up there, any 'newer' poo just seeps around the sides and leaks out. They honestly can't feel it happen.

my 6yo also was TT'd early on, was night trained by his 3rd bday. His Encopresis started from his many food allergies had him on a pretty restrictive diet which occasionally had him a bit constipated...and the cycle I mentioned with associating poo with pain eventually lead us here.  He's on a 'program' of Movicol and regular 'sitting and trying' (about 4 times a day) & eventually (possibly 6-12 months), the colon will shrink back and regain its function.

Feel free to PM me...

#3 Oceana79

Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:38 PM

Thank you so much for your reply original.gif It's nice to know other children and families are going through this [not meaning it's good but happy tp hear I am not the only one going through it with DD] She has a normal healthy diet with plenty of fibre so I am at a loss as to how it started. Now she doesnt get or hasn't complained of pain when going although when she does go atm her little bottom is red raw as the poo is burning her which I guess is because it's been in there so long sad.gif Poor little thing. I really don't know what else to do which I why we are going back to the gp although he really wasn't much help at all sad.gif I really didn't think it was common I wonder if there are any programs near me? I try and get DD to sit on the toilet for a little while but she just refuses so will really have to find a way to get her to go. I felt terrible when we found out about the Encopresis [ couldn't remember the name until you said it] as DH and I were getting a little cranky at her for a while thinking she was lazy and not wiping properly. Wasn't until I googled lol that I realised what was happening and went and saw the Dr. How does your DS find it at school as I know my poor DD gets really embarrassed and over the several weeks she was coming home with soiled pants not once did her teacher notice the smell so she was contantly embarrassed and wouldn't go and change her pants sad.gif

#4 Electro

Posted 29 October 2011 - 08:16 PM

My DS goes to an absolutely fantastic primary school and the prep teachers have been amazing helping us.  I spoke to the school nurse too so they were all aware of it.  I also gave them encopresis fact sheets and had a good chat to them about our schedule with trying.

They were gorgeous as they were so concerned for his self image, they developed a little 'code' for him of that it was time to try (by slipping him a card with a penguin on it) and on the occasions they smelt something and wanted him to come away from the class so the nurse could help him change his pants, they slipped him a card with a teddy bear (obviously pictures are irrelevant but just shows they developed something to preserve his dignity).

We too went through a stage of getting very frustrated and cross when he came home every few days with smearing in his underwear....it is a very exhausting road.   I know we've got a way ahead of us too as if I get slack and miss some days of movicol and sitting...he can easily not go for 4 days due to the stretched colon.    We have far far less accidents though these days original.gif

Check with your main children's hospital as they may have or know of a paed who runs a clinic.

Here's info for the one we attend at the RCH


#5 baddmammajamma

Posted 30 October 2011 - 06:24 AM


Thanks so much for your helpful posts!

My 4 year old son is being monitored for encopresis -- our paed has referred us on to a gastroenterologist and we, too, are doing the Movicol/regular "sitting and trying" program right now. I think we have a long road ahead of us, but it's comforting to know that we aren't the only ones.

#6 AMPSyd

Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:00 AM

Check her diet.

My DS has had "sneaky poos" or more formally encopresis. I found changes in his life - new school, new sister, etc created issues for him. As well as MSG in flavoured chips, tropical juice - he now just has apple juice, and excess food colourings. With age his food sensitivities are lessening.

Parachoc was also recommended to me and I found it really helped.

But one thing I did learn - from EB - is not to load them up on fibre. Fibre just makes the poo very large. Fibre is good, but not too much. The kids hospital at Westmead's fact sheet does recommend increasing fibre, and yes it is good but don't increase too much. DS had an Oat based cereal - his "sneaky poos" were the worse when he was on this cereal.

#7 Guest_Skedaddle_*

Posted 30 October 2011 - 08:12 AM

I posted on here recently about my DD's issues. She doesn't actually have encopresis (well not diagnosed anyway) but she was deliberately holding in her poo because she was too busy to go and didn't want to miss out on playtime. It had also hurt her to go in the past so she thought it was better to just hold it in rather than let it out. She would literally squeeze her bottom together if a poo was coming but a little would come out onto her pants. She had been toilet trained for years and the problem started half way through her first year of school. Could this be part of your daughter's problem?

No advice sorry. DD fixed her problem herself after many months but unfortunately she has started doing it again. sad.gif

#8 Electro

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:13 PM

I posted on here recently about my DD's issues. She doesn't actually have encopresis (well not diagnosed anyway) but she was deliberately holding in her poo because she was too busy to go and didn't want to miss out on playtime. It had also hurt her to go in the past so she thought it was better to just hold it in rather than let it out. She would literally squeeze her bottom together if a poo was coming but a little would come out onto her pants. She had been toilet trained for years and the problem started half way through her first year of school.

What you've described there is classic Encopresis.  It doesn't matter if it's. It a dietary thing. The clinic we go to also deal with it 50% of the time being exactly as you've described.  Putting pooing off from either playing, fear of pain or even fear of ie new toilets at school.

#9 Guest_Skedaddle_*

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:23 PM

QUOTE (Electro @ 30/10/2011, 10:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What you've described there is classic Encopresis.  It doesn't matter if it's. It a dietary thing. The clinic we go to also deal with it 50% of the time being exactly as you've described.  Putting pooing off from either playing, fear of pain or even fear of ie new toilets at school.

Really?? ohmy.gif  I took her to the Dr as it had been going on for months and I couldn't deal with it any more. The Dr did no testing, didn't even mention Encopresis and just told me she would grow out of it, it was just a habit she had gotten in to. Dr even told me to put panty liners in DD's pants to help clean up the poo. ohmy.gif (I didn't!). Thank you! I will keep an eye on it. No problems today.

I thought Encopresis was when the poo leaked out and the child wasn't aware of it. This isn't the case with my DD.

#10 ~Supernova~

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:32 AM

QUOTE (Skedaddle @ 30/10/2011, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Really?? ohmy.gif  I took her to the Dr as it had been going on for months and I couldn't deal with it any more. The Dr did no testing, didn't even mention Encopresis and just told me she would grow out of it, it was just a habit she had gotten in to. Dr even told me to put panty liners in DD's pants to help clean up the poo. ohmy.gif (I didn't!). Thank you! I will keep an eye on it. No problems today.

I thought Encopresis was when the poo leaked out and the child wasn't aware of it. This isn't the case with my DD.

My DD sounds similar to yours. She used to hold on because she was too busy playing, and once or twice she actually tore herself a little. Ever since then we have had off and on issues with little "accidents". The main problem with my DD is that she won't drink enough, gets dehydrated, gets constipated, then gets scared it will hurt. We saw a Gastroenterologist and he said it was a psychological thing (because she KNEW she had to go and she could feel it, she just didn't WANT to let it go for fear of it hurting her) which could take us many months to deal with. He gave us some helpful ideas, and while she is not 100% improved, she is doing much better.

#11 Ferelsmegz

Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:43 AM

My DS went through this for about 2 years..

He did his first poo on the toilet at just over 6 years old (VERY proud moment here) and whilst he still occasionally has his moments and we do ned to remind him to go quite often he hardly ever has accidents anymore.

Like Electro's DS he has a great school who are VERY understanding of the issue (even now) and take great care of him - including an action plan that all his teachers and the office have to make it easier and less embarrassing for him if he does have an accident.

I know it doesn't seem like it now.. believe me - but there IS light at the end of the tunnel!

#12 susanclark

Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:04 AM

My son hasn't had problems with leaking, but he has had huge build up of poo inside.  I've known a few people with children who have experienced your child's problem.

My son is a fairly 'low tone' (on the low end of 'normal', I'd say) kid and we were told that was the cause... his bowel just expands sideways far easier than most.  Nothing to do with deliberately 'holding it in'.  As a significant portion of the population are low(er) tone it may be a common cause of the initial retention.

We were told that anything that does not have senna in it is ok, and to 'tackle it from both ends'.  Duralax (not pessaries, the liquid you squirt in... easy to use), movicol and coloxyl have been our mainstay.  As others have said, fibre is a good friend but not your 'best friend' in this.  Actually fluid intake is most important.  All best used regularly, to stop the build up in the first place, and so minimise overstretching of the colon in the first place.

Now my son is a teen (just!) and for some time he has been horrified at any talk of this (and has been for some time) and we find it really hard to know what is going on.  Was much easier when he would let us in to the bathroom and answer any question we put to him!  And because it is muscle tone related, we think this will always be a problem.  So trying to get your child to establish a routine that manages things will help down the track.  Good luck.

#13 Delayfish

Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:07 AM

I have never heard of encopresis before but I'm reading this thread with horror as it describes exactly what my DS1 has been going through for the last 2 years cry1.gif No health professional has ever suggested encopresis to me, the doctors/mchn I have spoken to have said it's behavioural and he will grow out of it. He has often said he couldn't feel when he needed to go to the toilet. OMG I feel like the worst mother in the world right now. I have been blaming him for being lazy about toileting. We have tried movicol (thinking he may be somewhat constipated) with inconsistent results. Because I thought it was a behavioural thing, and because he is sometimes totally capable of using the toilet appropriately, I recently told him that if he didn't stop pooing in his undies I would put him back in nappies cry1.gif cry1.gif cry1.gif I can't tell you how awful I feel sad.gif Having said all that, it has improved over the last few weeks, but there have still been a few accidents. He had terrible trouble with toilet training and was not completely toilet trained (wees) until he was 5yo.

Sorry to hijack your thread OP. What should I do now? Is it worth a trip to the doctor since he has been improving lately?

#14 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:51 AM

I saw this in most recent topics. My heart goes out to you all it is such a horrible thing to go through. I'm not sure where people are based but we saw a wonderful GP who runs a toileting clinic in Wollongong. Totally bulk billed and short waiting list. She is wonderful. If anyone wants her details send me a PM (on the off chance you live in Wollongong LOL)

#15 Delayfish

Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:57 AM

QUOTE (V&J @ 31/10/2011, 08:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't feel bad Delayfish, I've said that to ds a couple of times too out of complete frustration (putting him back in nappies).

We have a big issue with holding on and then having accidents.  We are working with a psych on the issue through a referral from our MCHN so I would suggest seeing your GP to rule out anything medical and then ask for a referral.

Dr Sears has some general information and tips too http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/disciplin...s/soiling-pants

Thanks V&J, I'll make an appointment with our doctor and go from there.

#16 Arcee

Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:24 AM

Oh I cant believe Ive just found this thread.  Im currently going through this with my DS (7).  Its only just started happening the last 2 to 3 weeks.  

We have an appointment to see a Paed on the 14th November.  DS has been on Parachoc for the last 2 weeks but it is actually making the issue worse for him.  On Saturday he soiled himself at least 6 times and he is getting really upset by it all.  

I try and make sure he drinks plenty of fluids, however its hard to police when they are at school all day.  Ive also started making sure that he is getting plenty of fibre.

Hopefully the Paed will confirm that this is exactly what is going on with him and we can work towards a resolution.

I too have been guilty of threatening to put him back in nappies and its just from the sheer frustration of not knowing how to help him and fix the issue.  But at least now I feel better that Im not the only one going through this.

#17 mum of JandC

Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:29 PM

Hooley dooley...I could have written all these posts myself.....

My son is 5 1/2...we are currently going through the worst ever bout of encopresis ever.

i only figured it all out after 5hrs of intensive research today. Had been googling constipation over past year until today I finally googled leaky poos etc.

I was reading out the medical sites fact sheets on the condition to my husband and we both agreed we could have written all those word for word ourselves too sad.gif

I'm in Perth and about to head back to Dr's as well. This time i shall be armed with all my diarised info on my son over the past 5yrs [he suffered constipation as baby too], print outs of Doc sites with questions to answer and my/our answers.

Luckily, we have been on the right track ourselves dealing with it aside from the times when you just have had enough and end up shouting "Can't you feel it??" at your poor child sad.gif

Today I have sat Caleb down and told him what i have found out and profusely apologised to him for shouting at him. Both my DH and i feel so utterly horrid we have got so frustrated with it and thus him.
His 12yr old brother is very patient and supportive so at least Caleb has a good older brother in that regard  too.

In my research today I've found a psychologist who specialises in encopresis and the ensuing emotional issues it creates here in Perth plus one of the Uni's school of psychology also has help for it too in group sessions and indivual.

Our son starts F/T pre school....so I'm kicking myself for not researching this a year ago when he was still at kindy !!!!!

Arrrrghhhh .... still better late than I suppose.

Hope the children of all of you are improving!!

#18 NicoleTQLD

Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

I've just stumbled across this topic, and a little lightbulb has gone off in my head!! My DD who is 6.5 has been soiling her underwear on and off for the past few months. She's always been lazy going to do a wee if she's playing etc but now that it's happening with poo's enough is enough. I thought she was just being even lazier, but perhaps not??
I didn't actually realise there could be more to it than just laziness, so I'm feeling pretty awful about yelling at her every time she does it and I too have threatened to buy her nappies.
I really don't know where to start with helping her, should I take her to the docs first or try to get to the bottom of it myself??? She did it last night while asleep, this afternoon while watching a movie, does it at school, at friends houses, there doesn't seem to be a pattern to it. Sometimes I can catch her in the act, she pops her bum in the air while squatting, I've actually noticed she spends a lot of time with her bum in the air?!?!
Does anyone elses child have the same thing with urinating, as she will hold and hold until I force her to the toilet. We will often have arguments about her going and she insists she doesn't need to even though her legs are crossed and she's walking odd or crouched down somewhere, only to sneak off a few minutes later and go
She has a good balanced diet but not sure of how much she drinks at school.
Is it worth letting her teachers know so they can try to get her to go at school when she needs to??
Sorry this is all jumbled, trying to get my head around this, I really want to help her solve this, especially before kids at school notice a smell and tease her  sad.gif
Thanks for any help!

#19 Mamabug

Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:00 PM

You may want to check this thread as well!

I started it a few days ago as my DD is having sneaky poos.

#20 fionaw1

Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:10 PM

Same, same!  My DS2 ended up in the hospital last year because he was backed up!  He had adult enemas and the parachoc and all sorts of thing...he was in absolute agony screaming on the floor.  sad.gif

He still holds it in for a few days sometimes (especially somewhere new or stressful to him)...I think the hospital gave him a bit of a fright though, because he does eventually go now.  We found out that he was holding it in because it must've hurt him at one time, so he has built up such a fear.

Now, I try to make sure he drinks lots of water, occasionally hide fibre powder in his food...but one of the best things to get him moving is just simply pear juice.  Works a treat every time so far.

#21 NicoleTQLD

Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:14 PM

Just wondering what everyone else does in regards to their child's treatment during school hours? I had a chat with DDs teachers once we worked out encopresis was the issue and I asked them if they could encourage her to go to the toilet after each meal, and to keep an eye on and encourage her to drink all the water in her drink bottle but she continues to bring home an almost full bottle of water and its almost impossible to get any information out of her about her toileting habits that day.
Do I go have another discussion with the teachers? I'm not quite sure how to approach them without sounding like a whinging mother but as she is there for the majority of her week, I feel we aren't going to fix this if they aren't fully on board. Her school is well known for its accepting of children of all capabilities and she has a few kids with Autism in her class and the teachers seem to really accommodate them, so I kind of expect them to work with me on this just as much as they do with the other children and mothers.
This is such a major problem at the moment and is effecting the whole family. We are all trying our damned hardest when DD is home, we have a 'superstar chart' with items such as 'drinking all my water', sitting on the toilet and trying 4 times today', no accidents before lunch/bedtime etc, she is on Osmolax twice a day, and I am constantly asking her to go and try, or to have a cup of water etc and DH is really supportive so I feel that if we could get her teachers on our page we may just beat this thing!!
Am I asking too much of the teachers or am I well within my rights to expect a fair bit of help during school hours? I'm considering sending a small notebook to school each day with DD for the teachers to write me a quick note on how much she drank, any problems, how many times she went to the toilet etc just as a bit of communication.
I hope everyone's kids are making progress, this is such a heartbreaking thing for such little people to go through!

#22 tothebeach

Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:21 PM

DS is nearly 7 and suffers from encopresis too.  Thank heavens for EB as it helped me realise what it was and go to the doctor armed with information.

He's been on movicol for months now and it seems to have helped things - though we still have issues.

I've printed out leaflets to give to the school as they were not allowing him to go to the toilet as soon as he needed to.

#23 jodiecorinne

Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

Ive been dealing with this for almost 5 years with my ten year old son. its such a heartbreaking thing for them to have to go through especially now my son is older, in grade 5 and the kids arent so kind about it anymore. It breaks my heart when he comes home from school, sometimes in tears saying "mum i think i need to have a shower the kids were teasing me again' Weve been there done it all, the movical, the toilet routine, the diet, the clinic at the RCH and it sometimes it works for a little while but we always end up right back where we started. At this point I feel like its never going to get better.

#24 UpsyDaisy

Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:10 PM

I'm so glad I found this post. My DS (7 yo) has ASD, TTed late at 5 yo, but has the same issue mentioned here. His pead. had a diary we filled out with "sitting and waiting" each day (Diary from RCH). Parachoc was also suggested. He holds on for days and days. When get him to "sit" but it hurts him and when he does go it's huge! SO obviously painfull. He has the same smearing/marks accidents, not actual full blown accident. It's just such a battle. He seems to have lost awareness of his "accidents" now. The school is brilliant and does toilet sitting with him twice daily with rewards. We see his pead. again in March. This condition was never ever mentioned to me, and definitely seems similar.

The pead. always presses around and check his stomach, but never had x-rays for the issue. I just know from helping him (He needs assistance in this area of toileting) that he is backed up.

This particular issue has always been an issue and SUCH a big thing. ie. assistance needed at the toilet, holding on for weeks if I let him, but no answers, testing etc. other than this diary sad.gif


Edited by UpsyDaisy, 17 February 2012 - 11:14 PM.

#25 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:01 AM

Encopresis is not the only reason or cause of this kind of thing and if you have been following the program for years with little success it is reasonable to ask for a gastro referral.

Most kids are dealing with encopresis but not all kids are.

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