Encopresis is also known as fecal incontinence or soiling. It is the condition which is characterized by repeated involuntary passing of stools into clothes. This results after the impaction of stool in the colon and rectum for a long time which leads to the distention and loss of control over movements of bowel.
This condition presents as follows:
- Involuntary leakage of liquid stool in the underwear, mimicking as diarrhea
- Passage of hard stools and constipation
- Bowel movement avoidance
- Pain in the abdomen
- Decrease appetite
- Recurrent bladder infection especially in girls
Major causes of this condition is as follows:
- Chronic constipation as during this stool retains in the bowel for a long period of time making distention of colon and worsening of condition. Due to this when colon become full, liquid fluid stool leaks from sides leading to the development of encopresis.
- Emotional stress is also an important trigger of encopresis.
Diagnosis of this condition depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Other tests include the following:
- Digital rectal exam for checking impacted stool.
- Abdominal X-ray
- Psychological evaluation is also sometimes needed
Treatment options include:
- Mainly the first step in treating this condition is clearing impacted and retained stool.
- Some herbal or other medications can be prescribed like laxatives and rectal suppositories.
- Encouraging the patient to have regular and healthy bowel movements
- Behavior modification
Lifestyle and home remedies:
- Don’t use laxatives or enemas without asking doctor
- Increase fiber in your diet
- Limit the consumption of cow’s milk if physician has suggested.
- Maintain a proper toilet routine.