childhood encopresis - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-03-2014, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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childhood encopresis

Anyone out there have a child that suffers with this? We have been dealing with this for years with one of our children out of four. Massive amounts of OTC laxatives have been prescribed for some time. Any truth to the idea this is the result of an undiagnosed allergy to milk proteins? This child was a very content baby, slept well, ecologically breastfed and continued breastfeeding for 30 months. This child did get a rash on the skin if milk, yogurt or cheese went on the skin but has been able to consume it as a baby. No current skin issues. I have told this to each physician and it has not raised any red flags, no allergy testing. I very much want this child off laxatives and on to normal bathroom use without lengthy sit times. Any suggestions would be helpful. We have talked with pediatricians, pediatric gastroenterologists. We cannot afford numerous chiropractic visits at this time.
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#2 of 4 Old 09-03-2014, 09:09 PM
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Hugs to you!
Bumping this to see if you can get some responses from parents who have been in your shoes.

One thought: I don't see any harm in avoiding dairy for 4-6 weeks, and then challenging with a big dose of dairy, to see if there really is a sensitivity. This is what I would do if it were my child.
I have three kids with dairy protein sensitivity, one that also reacts to lactose. Our doctors have always said our experience of eliminating and challenging a food suspected of sensitivity is more accurate than their tests. It can be rough to be a dairy free kid (unless you live in a culture that doesn't use much dairy anyway).

In addition to figuring that out...
Do you monitor fluid intake?
Do you have access to an herbalist nearby? They may be able to offer ideas for supporting healthy bowel function. This would need to be customized to your little one's situation. I would not seek generic advice from the internet or health food store.
Pharmaceutical laxatives can be habit-forming to the intestinal tissues. Having support for weaning off them is important (in my humble opinion ).

P.s. FYI- I discovered water kefir and now make it at home as a way to get non-dairy probiotics for our family. I notice a big difference in my bowel movements when I drink it. My kids love it. Fizzy juice that has tons of b vitamins and probiotics...yum!
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#3 of 4 Old 09-04-2014, 06:09 PM
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My DD has encopresis. She was an easy baby and is a happy-go-lucky kid (she is now 7). She has always hated stopping what she is doing to go to the bathroom. I didn't try to potty train her until she turned 3 and it was an enormous struggle. She wound up with this because she trained for pee, then would hold poop and started pooping only a couple times a week. I didn't think much of it because she never soiled in her underwear and never complained of stomach pains or anything. Around 5 1/2 she started soiling a lot and I brought her to the ped. Her colon was stretched from all the holding (they saw in an xray) so she could not longer feel when she had to go. She's been going to the Developmental Medicine Center at Children's Hospital Boston for about a year and a half, and they are just now starting to wean her off he daily miralax and exlax.

It's a long, immensely frustrating process, and apparently more common than we would think (10% of boys have it?). Change in routine, change in diet, and she'd get backed up.

The Docs at Children's got her on a schedule where there were very few surprise accidents so socially she's had no issues. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk in more detail.

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#4 of 4 Old 09-07-2014, 07:04 PM
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My son doesn't have it but was often constipated as a baby. He's outgrown it now though. More water help him a LOT.
Have you increased your child's water intake? Worth a try. Also try increasing the about of fiber foods like fruits, veggies, beans. Definitely try avoiding dairy to see if it helps.
Mentally, try to help your kiddo relax about it. Pooping is no big deal and everyone does it. Maybe make a game out of it, like every poop gets a prize.
Exercise can help too. Something like jumping on a trampoline can literally loosen the bowels and help things flow out. Also, yoga and massage can help regulate the digestive system.
I hope things get better!
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