What is Encopresis -The Health Effects of Potty Training You Didn’t Know Existed

what is encopresis

Of the many stages a child goes through before maturity, potty training is one of the most challenging stages we as parents have to go through. Potty training, in this case, goes with two closely related issues; one is that the child is facing diaper dependence while you as the parent is probably making one grave mistake that negatively the child’s health as well as your relationship with the child.

Here is the thing, before you embark on potty training your child, you need to seriously, and I mean seriously understand why diaper dependence is such a “menace.”

You see, thanks to technology, diapers today are so improved. With one, kids feel so comfortable that they lose all feeling of being wet and don’t even feel the need of getting out of the diapers.

The above is one of the reasons why potty training in most developed countries is delayed by at least one to two years. In third world countries, potty training is often done between the ages of 18 months and 2 years. In developed countries, however, kids are potty trained up to the age of 4.

To be honest, this is sad because you as the parent are not given a choice to decide when to stop your child from using the potty. As a result, you end up making multinational companies richer as your child slowly becomes susceptible to encopresis.

Did I just say Encopresis? Well yes, I did. And this is one thing that will make you understand why it is upon you to decide when your child is ready to use the toilet and not the other way round like diaper companies have made you believe.

encopresisSo what is Encopresis? Delayed potty training can lead to encopresis which is a condition that occurs due to enlarged hardened stools in the colon which causes these intestines to stretch and sometimes even tear. Colon and bladder infections have also been associated with encopresis. And when either of these things happens, the effect is that your child won’t be able to feel a bowel movement and may require urgent medical help.

Some of you may not yet understand the gravity of this condition, but the truth is that it can bring about severe psychological and physical trauma to the child and can as well turn into an incredibly stressful ordeal for the entire family.

But how will you know if your child is suffering from encopresis? Not many parents can tell whether or not their kid has encopresis. Fortunately, there is a way to know. The diagnostic standard for encopresis is if the child has repetitive bowel movements in inappropriate locations for a continual three months.

Nonetheless, you should know that encopresis comes about in two forms. Retentive encopresis which is the most common form of encopresis among children. This type occurs when the child’s difficulties in having a bowel movement are as a result of some physical problem.

In this case, the child may want to defecate in the toilet but is unable to do so because there is a blockage or because he/she is experiencing pain or even lack of sensation. Retentive encopresis can be a nightmare as it can cause chronic constipation among victims especially when the child lacks physical activity, and doesn’t get enough water and fiber.

No-retentive encopresis on the other hand which is the second type of encopresis occurs when the child can’t have bowel movements in the right places. Unlike the first type, this form of encopresis is at least not characterized by constipation. What happens, however, is that the child will become overly fearful or even defiant. He or she also start to use these as control mechanisms.

That said, knowing and understanding each of these types of encopresis will help you to know the best ways treat and manage the condition. It is however also imperative to first identify which category your child has as this is also important in helping them learn how to cope with the situation.

There isn’t a need of looking for the fastest way to clean out bowel movements from encopresis. The best you can do as a parent is to find ways that can best help both you and your child cope with the situation.

Take note; that even though encopresis might be a stressful ordeal and a complicated issue to treat, there are several ways to which you as the parent can help treat and manage it at home.

Suggested remedies include cleaning and emptying the lower intestines. You need to help your child learn a few particular bowel movement habits that will help prevent the buildup of stool and constipation. Doing this will significantly aid in the treatment of encopresis.

Another approach that you might want to try is giving your child an enema. I know this is dreadful, but it helps a lot. And although your child will protest the first few times, the good thing is that the enemas are gentle saline that genuinely works in cases of encopresis. These procedures help to stimulate the bowel to come out, with little chance of resisting it and at the same time also teaches your child’s colon this sensation.

Keep in mind that while a series of enemas may work for your child, ensure that you do it under the recommendation and directions of a trusted physician.

Other treatments methods include the use of laxatives to increase the amount of water present in the large intestines and the use of biofeedback to train the child on how to use their lower abdominal and anal muscles. Severe encopresis may require surgery, but this rarely happens and will only be suggested by your doctor once the condition becomes severe. So don’t let it get there.

 

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