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Encopresis and my 15yr old son :(
Anon_162877 posted:
Our story... My 15yr old has had problems with having accidents in his pants since... well... since I first started potty training him... He was always a very active, intelligent, but hyper-focused little boy so, at the time, I thought he was just not paying attention to when he needed to go... He's had the same pediatrician for about 10yrs now... I really like him, and he's been great with most everything for all 4 of my boys... But he dropped the ball on this one... He told me the basic idea of the matter, but he made it seem like an easy short term fix... He told me about the constipation that causes a large ball of poop that gets stuck and is painful so they tend to hold it in rather than go through the pain of expelling it... And the seepage from around the ball, which essentially is the accident... He has all the common symptoms... The lying about it, inconspicuously throwing away soiled boxers, he says he doesn't feel it...
The biggest part of his doctor dropping the ball was his insinuation that my son may have been doing it out of laziness or not wanting to come in from playing... He even told me when he was 10 that I should start making him wash his own clothes and maybe he'd think about what he was doing, then...
Being under that impression, as you can guess, I was much less willing to be patient with him... I regret it so much today... He's a very bright, funny, compassionate child... which also added to my issues of being short with him... he's super intelligent... I've been able to speak to him logically and sensibly since he was very young... And all this time, I'm thinking... How can you do this... How can you have so much knowledge and be so reasonable at so young and do this...
If you have a child with this problem, please don't do this to them... So, on to my next question... Anyone having this same problem with their child... Or even better, and adult who may have come out of this successfully who would be willing to talk to him? I love him so much... He doesn't deserve this... It's also so hard because he's male... and even though we're very very close, it's hard to get him to talk to me about it...

Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Fetchn responded:
I don't know of anyone with this, but a friend of mine had a suggestion on how to talk about things with kids when it is embarrassing to talk face to face. One person sits on one side of the bed facing the wall, and the other sits on the other side of the bed facing the wall...that way they don't see each other. Then they ask questions or make comments...quick, to the point, and blunt. Another form of communication is email or written letters. As far as the poop goes...add fibrous foods to the diet to help soften things up, making it easier for him to go so it won't hurt. Who knows..he may have a hemorrhoid. I hope things work out. Tell him not to be embarrassed, if something is going on, maybe it will get fixed, but it will keep on happening if not addressed.
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hello Danielle and Welcome -

I am so sorry to hear about your son's struggles. This same situation is being discussed in our Parenting Communities. Here are a few links to check out -

HELP -12 year old stepson poops and pees on his floor!
Help - my 12 year old poops and pees on the floor
12 year old step son pees and poops his pants

I hope this is helpful and you can connect with other families going through the same thing.

Take Care,
HoNuTiTa responded:
Hi Danielle -

I know what you're going through...I'm going through the same problems with my 15 year old son, soon to be 16 years old.

We are both frustrated with the situation and don't know what to do!!! All we WANT & NEED are answers!!!

Taken him to see his pediatrician, referred to a psychologist and 2 psychiatrist who all told us the SAME thing...he's LAZY, he'll grow out of it, monitor his bathroom usage, give him a big glass of water wait 30 minutes and send him to the bathroom...the list goes on and on. WAIT SHOULD I SAW EXCUSES...NOTHING HAS WORKED!!!

I am at a lost for words and hate to see my son suffer, being hard on himself when he has an accident and just seeing his self esteem so low. Just hope and pray that an answer can be found and my son can be a NORMAL boy like all other boys his age.
ladylaura805 responded:
we are also having this problem with my 15 year old. It is a big problem for us! not sure if BO or what ever that smell is, is part of ecopreses. we have to keep trowing away his clothes, he has to shower 3 times a day. he's had this since he was 6. he's not growing out of it. He took fiber and mineral oil for years and nothing worked. we tried to train him to sit in the toilet until he pooped but now he's just to old for that. I'm wondering if he's ever gonna get better.
chrisalismom responded:
Hi there: I feel for you SO much! My son is 15 going on 16 and still suffers from this condition. He was diagnosed at the age of 5 and he had it until he was about 10 years old. We took care of it with diet and benefibre and a lot of diligence. I, too, as well as my husband, used to get angry at my son about this because we didn't know. That just made matters worse. Plus he got teased at school about it and bullied at school (for lots of reasons, not just for this condition) so all of this has impacted his self-esteem. He is an awesome boy with a high I.Q. who is great in school. He didn't have any friends in his younger school days but he has lots of them now. Although, ever since he was born, I have felt that there was something not right. He cried continuously from the day he was born. He only would sleep in 20 minute increments. He had to be held ALL the time. We had to rock him to sleep at night and lie in his bed with him until he was 8 years old. Now, that he is 15 we are going through a different problem. He is very disrespectful to me (his mom) but an angel to his dad (we are not separated or divorced and we have a younger daughter). Any request I make to him is met with attitude and resentment. He really dislikes me and is constantly looking for a fight. Needless to say, he is not easy to approach on this subject or any other for that matter. His dad is the one who talks to him about things now, but he hardly even talks to his dad about stuff. Anyway, the encopresis problem was resolved until about 1 year ago. It has started again. He hides his underwear in his room and it absolutely REEKS in there. I find this problem at least 3 times per week. My husband has spoken to him about it and has told him that he thinks the problem is back again but my son DENIES that the problem is back again. He claims "it's diaherra from when I was sick". But diahreah 3 times a week??? That's not it and he knows it and we know it. He is obviously embarrassed about it and we make certain not to get angry at him and we just tell him that we are concerned about him but he gets upset at us. He doesn't want to "fix" the problem because he refuses to admit that there IS a problem. I am at my witts end. I don't know what to do anymore to make him realize that if we don't fix this now, it could go on forever and someday his friends/coworkers/bosses will notice and he will be embarrassed. We try to explain that to him and to tell him about the far-reaching health impact it has on him, but he doesn't want to talk about it or fix it because (in my opinion) he is embarrassed about it. HELP
WebPal responded:
Gee, I'm at a loss about this. I was checking this site hoping to find answers for my husband, who suffered from this as a child (and still does to some extent). Apparently it wasn't addressed as he was growing up or, if it was, I have no knowledge what his parents did about it. Other than ignore it altogether.

Like your son, he is extremely intelligent and very logical but it is very difficult to even bring the subject up at all with him because he gets very defensive and angry about it. So we've never even gotten so far as being able to discuss what things he might try to alleviate it.

I love him with all my heart and the only time I ever make a remark is if I happen to notice a stain on his pants or occasional offensive smell (which sometimes emanates from a chair or surface that he may have been sitting on).

I do not mention it to make him feel bad, I just want to spare him any embarrassment he may come across at the hands of someone...a co-worker, business associate, or acquaintance...who may not understand the situation, who might also notice a stain or smell themselves some day and then use it to make him the butt of cruel jokes or teasing. People can be mean and he is so kind, he certainly doesn't deserve that kind of treatment.

Although, I have to be honest, I haven't been too patient myself with having to constantly pre-treat underwear, I have expressed my displeasure many times...especially when he forgets to do this himself.

Sorry that my message really has no advice in it for you, but maybe you would be willing to share some advice with me as to what has worked for you...especially the communication part. You're right...males are very hard to talk to about these kinds of things. And it doesn't get any better when they get older. I hope that you can help your son get over this before he gets into relationships. It can be very frustrating to live with.

All the best, Danielle
michdd responded:
Hello Danielle and all responders,
I am so sorry that you are struggling with encopresis and that the help you have sought has been so limited.
There simply is no reason why you and your children need to continue to suffer with this.
Fredric Daum, MD is a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in this problem. He is available for telephone consultations and he will personally help you and your child with management of encopresis. Please take a look at his website: You are welcome to talk to him initially about your child for no charge - to see if you want to continue with him.
I will be very upfront about his approach. He will put your child on a very specific dose of laxatives - I know that many of you have tried some laxative or combination of laxative approaches before. But he is really an expert at this and will approach it a little differently. The dosage and timing of the laxative and the other approaches he takes are KEY to successful treatment.
Please help your child to feel better and find a happier, healthier way of managing this frustrating and difficult problem.
He can help. Good luck
michdd replied to WebPal's response:
Hello Danielle,
I just made a post....please read it and get back to me. There IS help available.
Coffeelover111 responded:
I dont want to alarm people, because it may not be the case for you, but i feel like i need to say this. My younger brother had this problem, it started at.... i wanna say 7ish. My mother use to yell crying to my brother to please tell him why he keeps going in his pants and hiding the underwear. It was a very stressful time, he also had a rash on his bottom. The DR had told my mother that if he took fiber that everything was ok, and that the rash was from going in his pants. Well guess what, my brother is in his 20's now and had a mental break down, it turns out that my uncle sexually abused him. I read that as a child, if they are sexually abused, the sphincter ( i think) wont close normally, causing the accidents because the child cant hold it, it just comes out without them having any warning.

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