Encopresis (Fecal Soiling)

Symptoms of Encopresis Fecal Soiling include diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss, and constipation. It can also cause comorbid psychiatric disorders.


Symptoms of Encopresis Fecal Soiling can be frustrating for parents. If you notice your child soiling his or her underwear frequently, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. It may be a sign of a more serious health problem. Children who soil their underwear are more likely to be constipated. If you notice this in your child, you may need to modify your child’s diet or get him or her to take a laxative. Increasing the fiber in his or her diet will help keep the bowels moving smoothly.

You may think your child is soiling his or her underwear deliberately. However, this behavior is generally involuntary. Children soil their underwear because they are constipated. They may not have the urge to poop, and if they do, they may refuse to go to the bathroom. Often, a child will soil his or her underwear during the daytime.

The most common symptoms of encopresis are constipation, soiling, and involuntary stooling. In most cases, a child’s encopresis will resolve itself as soon as the child stops soiling his or her underwear. However, if a child is soiling more than one time a month, the condition can become chronic. You should contact your doctor if your child soils his or her underwear several times a month or if your child has been soiling for more than two weeks.

Other symptoms of encopresis include abdominal pain and an inability to pass a normal bowel movement. In addition, a child’s appetite may be affected. This condition may also be triggered by stressful events in your child’s life. Your child’s healthcare provider may refer him or her to a behavioral psychologist. He or she will ask many questions to make sure your child is not suffering from other medical conditions.

During the examination, the healthcare provider will check your child’s rectum for problems. He or she will also ask about your child’s habits. You may also be asked about unusual stressors in your child’s life. The health care provider may also recommend taking a blood test to check your child’s thyroid hormone levels.

Your child’s healthcare provider may also refer him or her to a specialist. In addition, your child’s healthcare provider may ask you to keep a diary of his or her stools. This will help your doctor determine the best course of treatment. You may also be asked to make some lifestyle changes, such as increasing the number of fluids in your child’s diet. These changes can help prevent constipation in the future.


Typically, the diagnosis of encopresis is made based on symptoms and medical history. It may also be diagnosed based on an abdominal X-ray. This will help the physician determine the level of fecal buildup and the amount of stool in the large intestine. If encopresis is the cause of constipation, then the symptoms can usually be alleviated through medicines and lifestyle changes.

Most children with encopresis experience constipation. They may also hold in bowel movements to avoid pain. This leads to the loss of the normal urge to poop. They may also feel ashamed about soiling their underwear. Some children will hide soiled underwear or avoid social situations. Others may pass large, hard stools.

Children with encopresis may also have a number of psychological problems associated with the disorder. This may include a lack of self-esteem, shame, anxiety, and emotional issues.

Parents of children with encopresis may experience feelings of guilt, anger, and emotional upset. They may also worry about the health of their child. They may also feel uncomfortable giving their child laxatives. Some parents have heard that laxatives are harmful and can cause more health problems.

There are several medical conditions that can cause encopresis. If you think that your child has encopresis, your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your child’s behavior and diet. They may also refer your child to a behavioral psychologist.

If your child has encopresis, it is important that you call your healthcare provider as soon as you notice that he or she soils his or her underwear. This may be the result of a painful bowel movement or it may simply be an accident. If your child soils his or her underwear several times a day, you should call your health care provider.

If your child soils his or her underwear frequently, you should consider giving him or her a laxative. Laxatives are designed to treat constipation, and they do not stop working after long use. They can be given in a daily dose, and the dosage should be adjusted to achieve the desired consistency of the stool.


Typical treatment for encopresis fecal soiling involves a variety of steps. The goal is to help your child develop a healthy habit of poop control. These steps include changing your child’s diet, encouraging regular physical activity, and drinking fluids frequently. These steps can help your child overcome encopresis and improve their overall health.

Treatment for encopresis fecal soiling will begin with a physical exam and a thorough discussion with your child’s doctor. Your doctor will ask questions about your child’s lifestyle, diet, and medical history. He or she will also examine your child’s rectum and anal muscles. This is because encopresis is often caused by constipation. The goal is to determine if the problem is related to constipation or if it is caused by another condition.

Your child’s healthcare provider may also refer your child to a behavioral psychologist. They may also ask you questions about unusual stressors in your child’s life. This will help them determine if your child is ready for toilet training. Your child’s healthcare provider may also ask you to keep a daily diary of your child’s stools.

Your child may be teased at school or at other social events because of fecal soiling. He or she may not want to play with other children and may avoid spending the night at friends’ houses. They may also be embarrassed to wear their dirty underwear. They may even hide it from their parents.

Encopresis can be very frustrating for parents. They may become angry when their child soils underwear multiple times per day. They may also become angry at the repeated need for the child to be bathed. This can lead to other issues.

Many parents are concerned about giving their children laxatives. They have heard that laxatives may be harmful to the body. They may also be concerned about their child’s self-esteem. You should be patient and take the time to help your child overcome encopresis. It may take months to fully treat the condition.

You should also encourage your child to have regular bowel movements. A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help your child develop healthy bowel movement habits.

Comorbid psychiatric disorders in encopresis

Psychiatric disorders can be found in a variety of cases of encopresis fecal soiling. Some of these disorders can be related to emotional distress and low self-esteem. These conditions can lead to problems in socialization. In addition, they can be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder and personality disorders.

There are a number of causes of encopresis, but in the majority of cases, they are due to functional constipation. Medications such as polyethylene glycol (PG) or sulfasalazine can ease painful bowel movements. In addition, enemas can help empty the colon. However, if the symptoms persist for more than six months, it may be a good idea to seek medical attention.

The DSM-5 defines encopresis as “a symptom of an involuntary and unintentional passage of fecal material into an inappropriate location.” Symptoms are accompanied by anxiety, depression, and anger. Some studies have found that children with encopresis are also more likely to have psychiatric disorders. These disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorders, personality disorders, and affective disorders.

One study examined 41 patients with encopresis who met the DSM-IV criteria. These patients also had comorbid emotional and conduct disorders. These patients were evaluated with electroencephalography. The behavioral screening was also performed. A total of 65% of these patients had a Child Behavior Checklist total score in the clinical range.

Twenty patients in the comorbid group were found to have a history of a urinary tract infection. They also had thickened bladder walls and increased daytime incontinence rates. They also had higher rates of emotional and conduct disorders. In addition, they had pathological electroencephalography, and they had a higher rate of internalizing and externalizing problems.

Children with encopresis are also more at risk for antisocial behaviors, such as bullying. The onset of encopresis is usually after a stressful event. This may be related to the family situation, or it may be the result of an undiagnosed psychiatric disorder.

If encopresis is accompanied by other psychiatric disorders, they should be treated separately. In addition, the symptoms of these disorders can lead to decreased adherence to toileting recommendations. They may include a fear of defecation, non-adherence to medication, skills deficits, and non-compliance.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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