Encopresis or soiling problems usually build up over a period of time that is caused by constipation but can appear as diarrhoea. Most children have no control over the soiling, and they lose sensitivity to the sensation, the smell and the feeling.

Some children can have wetting associated with their stool buildup and soiling. (It’s normal for your child to have some night-time wetting up to around seven years old. Day-time wetting is a problem if it continues once your child has been toilet trained.

Encopresis is a dysfunctional condition of the colon caused by chronic constipation which creates a backup of stool in the lower colon that causes pressure to build in the bowel as the lumen becomes stretched. With stretching created by the build up of stool matter,  nerve signals responsible for stool urge can cease to function.

Children, teenagers and adults can develop this condition as an end result of chronic long term constipation.

When this happens the nerves become affected and they normal motility and muscle contractions that would move the stool out with an effective urge sensation, ceases to work. Without clear nerve signals, the person stops receiving the stool urge, without which, they may not know when to go to the toilet. 

In children it can seem as though they are not going for a bowel movement on purpose. This is not stubbornness or spite, they genuinely aren’t receiving effective signals. 

This situation is the end result of a functional condition that has been brewing over time.

Sometimes a medical review is important to rule out other causes of incontinence ( such as Hershprung’s disease, cerebral palsy, rectal stenosis etc?) Where underlying pathologies are not present, the medical approach is the use of osmotic laxatives and siting routine over several months, with referral to a psychologist if indicated. We have found that results for this limited treatment are low. Pediatricians don’t screen for parasites or address food intolerance, and these things can be pivotal to recovery. We employ a cohesive approach.

colon track-before and after

To restore the proper function of the colon it requires an approach that enorporates :

– clearing away the accumulated material in the bowel

– a review and likely change in the diet – identifying and removing foods that contribute to constipation and adding in foods that support healthy bowel function

– re-establishment of a healthy microbiome – the trillions of beneficial flora that look after the health of the immune and digestive function

– screening for parasites and low grade intestinal infections

– re-estabilishment of an appropriate toileting routine until proper nerve function is restored

– proper positioning on the toilet

– review of any emotional factors that may be related and referral to an appropriate health professional

At Colonic Care we employ a holistic, integrated approach incorporating functional testing and utilization of the skills of other practitioners where a referral is indicated. Sessions are individualized and based on the unique needs of each client. Every person is different and we seek to identify and address all the causative factors implicated in health issues so we can best support the body’s ability to health and regenerate, resolving issues for good.


With a course of treatment, the body will be able to resume optimal function. 



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