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Encopresis in Adults

Encopresis in Adults

Encopresis in adults is a condition of severe constipation, where one's stool cannot flow out easily. Find out here the causes, symptoms and treatment for this malady...
Naomi Sarah
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
What is encopresis? Encopresis in adults specifically, is a condition where chronic constipation takes place. Children usually experience this but adults too can suffer from this condition. Adults find it hard to pass stool, since its solid form gets trapped within the rectum, that is, the large intestine. If one passes stool less than three times a week, the chances of suffering from this are high. Stool is dry and hard, where one feels loose stool coming through, that filters through the hard stool lodged within, thus taking the form of loose motion.
What Causes Encopresis?
Adult encopresis, is much like that of encopresis in children, except that constipation problems can be the result of many factors, both mild and severe. Find out here what causes this problem.
Reaction to Medication
  • Iron supplements
  • Antidepressants
  • Antacids
  • Anticonvulsant drugs
  • Anti-spasmodic drugs
Nerve Damage
  • Thyroid gland function is improper
  • Lead poisoning
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Laxative abuse
Bowel Problems
  • Anal fissures
  • Hormonal imbalance due to pregnancy
  • Diet alternations in food and drinks
  • Anal stenosis
  • Pressure of growing womb on the bowel
Aging
  • Prescription drugs side effects
  • Lack of food/fluid intake
  • Laxatives
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Bowel habits aren't regular
  • Extensive bed rest, making one avoid the bathroom at a stretch
Obstruction in the Intestine
  • Gallstones
  • Inflamed adhesions of connecting tissues
  • Abdominal hernia
  • Tumors
  • Volvulus
Other Problems
  • Altered lifestyle
  • Use of narcotics
  • Diet is insufficient, lacking fibrous foods
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lack of fluid intake (water more importantly)
  • Junk food binge
Symptoms of Encopresis
These are the constipation symptoms that are evident when it comes to adult encopresis, which shouldn't be ignored if prolonged for more than a week.
  • Stool is hard
  • Distended abdomen
  • Not easy passing stool
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea
  • Tongue is coated
  • Vomiting
  • Constant straining of feces in the toilet (loose motion)
  • Not able to pass gas/excess gas release
  • Headaches
  • Not able to pass stool when the urge is felt.
  • Appetite is lost
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
Treatment for Encopresis
Adult encopresis can be treated with different forms of medication, that will help in loosening up the stool, and promoting easier flow of one's feces. Here's what can be given to patients.
Stimulants/Lubricants
Avoid stimulants that contain phenolphthalein, which as an over-the-counter medication that isn't safe for patients to use. Patients should make sure that doctors don't prescribe this particular medicine to them. There are lubricants available for constipation relief, that cause the stool to turn into a greasy pulp that is easier to pass.
Laxatives
These are given in fiber supplement form, where it can mess with other medicines that the patient is simultaneously taking. This makes stool softer as well, and easier to pass. Inform your doctor of any other medicines that you may be taking, to have alternatives to help these laxatives work in your favor, in case they clash with other meds. Avoid over-the-counter laxatives, and those that contain buckthorn, and senna.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Incorporating activity into one's life is important, to promote the bowel movement of one's system. Increase in fiber content foods is crucial, specifically fruits, vegetables and grains, to help with constipation troubles. Drink only fresh fruit juice and lots of water, to promote bowel movement. Avoid the ingestion of caffeine during this time.
Stool Softeners
Stool softeners are given to adults to help soften stool, and let it pass through without difficulties. This doesn't get absorbed into the blood, and is expelled by the body as the feces exit.
Encopresis is a condition, that when treated in time, can save one a lot of trouble from experiencing the complications of this problem. I hope you take the necessary steps to ensure that constipation that is chronic in nature, is dealt with, and that health factors are taken seriously, with respect to fiber and fluid intake.