Encopressis affects 1 to 4% of children: Why does my child have stool leaks?

This condition where children pass stools in their underwear or in unusual places is called encopressis. It’s not uncommon and it doesn’t matter. Here’s what to look for and tactics to help ease the way.

Seeing your child screwing, stool “leaking” or even defecating outside the toilet and bar when he is already “clean” can be very stressful, annoying, and even annoying for parents. Children who experience it suffer from encopresis, a disorder that is not uncommon and that can be resolved with the baby.

What is encopressis?

Encopressis, Hall “Regular excretion of stool or semi-formed stool in underwear or “abnormal” place (on the ground …) after 4 years of age“The French National Society of Colo-proctology specifies that this should not be confused with incontinence problems, as these children have no neurological disorders, or inconsistencies in colon function that explain their impairment. It is not worrying. Is.

Intestinal processes

Before we explain how it works, let’s go back to how our stool passes through our digestive system. The latter descends slowly along the intestine to contract its walls. As the day progresses, it shrinks after meals (to build a house) to move them more intensely. When they reach the anus, we feel the need to go to the toilet. The SNFCP explains, “We may defecate for reflexive and involuntary relaxation of the sphincter muscle portion of the anus (the smooth sphincter is also called the internal sphincter).”

This process requires a form of control that is usually learned around the age of 3, the famous “cleansing”, which is the moment when the child voluntarily learns to contract the second part of the sphincter of his anus. He also feels the urge to contract his gut reflex. It is estimated that the normal rhythm is 1 time every 3 days and 3 times a day for a baby.

Why is the baby blowing?

If he does not go to defecate voluntarily, if he holds on (voluntarily or unconsciously), then the anus starts to fill up. And it could be that uncontrolled stool leak. The child does not intentionally cross it, He no longer gets the information he needs to do, Because of the filling, the anus expands and accommodates more holders. But the sphincter relaxes and can no longer hold on: it is an overflowing event that holds the baby.

It can be a piece of feces, or even colored drips. This is explained because of the stagnation in the rectum, The stool hardens and forms a solid mass called “stool impact”. The latter can weigh up to 1 kg. Due to its consistency, the effect of excrement irritates the intestinal wall, which Excretes a pigmented fluid that is excreted in children with encopresis. It’s not diarrhea.

Who is affected by encopresis?

Most of the time, it affects boys between the ages of 6 and 10. But encopresis can be chronic. That children suffer Constipation This disorder is most likely to developBecause it “facilitates the fixation of feces in their intestines and especially in their rectum”, SNFCP explains.

Do not disclose this Not necessarily during toilet training, the child can develop later: we talk Secondary encopressis. Early encopresses are expressed in a child who has not yet learned to control his sphincter.

Leaks can occur day or night. When it is during the day, it often happens when the child is playing or practicing, he does not necessarily understand it and sometimes it does not bother him. But it is important to note The flight is not the result of a conscious process on the part of the childHe doesn’t do it “on purpose”.

What is the explanation?

Encopresis is often An unconscious way to try to communicate with the baby. This is due to a combination of factors (especially constipation), Which can also be psychological. The child may feel bad during ribbon training (very quickly, with very little attention from parents or, conversely, feel stress …), or may be associated with an external event that tests him (a separated parent, for example ).

“In some cases, there is no emotional reason: Encopresis may be transient in a child with constipation who has anal fissures due to a little more difficulty in passing stools than usual.. The pain of this fissure scared him to defecate. It can be stuck until it is leaked by overflow “, specifies the SNFCP.

Why consult a doctor? What treatment?

However, to help an encopressic child, Advice is essential to try to find the root of the problem. Encopresis can be completely cured, if we do not rush with the baby, through various methods. Psychological help can be helpful.

For those who make Constipation, it is important to treat this problem, Through a high fiber diet, Trying not to get into a food conflict with the baby. As far as possible, it is best to avoid enemas or suppositories that can block the child from an emotional point of view.

“In case of a crack, local care will be added with a mild soap and a healing ointment”, completes the SNFCP. At the same time, as long as the leak continues, there are panty liners adapted to this disorder, made by the Absalom brand and available for all ages from 3 years old to adult.

Source: SNFCP, Absalom

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