Accidental peeing and pooping in a kid: physical or emotional or what?
June 18, 2011 7:49 AM Subscribe
Could my son’s bladder and bowel control problems be a manifestation of emotional distress? Or could there be something physical going on that we’re missing? We’re going to the doctor soon, but I’d like to hear some ideas from others who might have dealt with something similar.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total)
My son is 9 and is generally an active, healthy, bright kid. He suffered some major emotional losses early in life (not any abuse, that we know of, anyway), and we adopted him a few years ago. We’ve been working with a children’s therapist who specializes in helping kids recover from early trauma and stress, and he seems to be getting a handle on his losses.
He’s had problems with bedwetting the whole time he’s been with us, which isn’t uncommon in kids adopted at older ages, or really all that uncommon in kids generally. We’ve talked to his pediatrician about the bedwetting, and my son is getting better at setting an alarm or waking himself up to stay dry. We’ve tackled this is as an isolated problem and haven’t talked to the therapist about it. (I was a long-time childhood bedwetter, so I'm sympathetic.)
But lately, say for the past several months or year, he’s also had some bowel control problems. At first I thought this was an urge problem—he was ignoring when he had to go until it was too late. But now he’s somewhat regularly (maybe 1-2/month) leaking stool/pooping a tiny bit in his underwear. He doesn’t seem to suffer from constipation, and he eats about as well as can be expected for a nine year old. His regular bowel movements smell spectacularly awful, which has me wondering if there’s some parasite or other weirdness. A few years ago he pooped in a swimming pool, so he has had bowel issues of some kind for a while.
I have been reading about encopresis (though, again, though I don’t think he's been constipated). Could there be a link between bladder and bowel control issues? Like some weak muscle? (We don’t have a ton of medical history for his birth family and can’t get more.) Or could this be connected to early life trauma? Or an allergy?
As I said, we’re going to our regular family doctor soon, but I would welcome any insight or ideas. Thanks.
(Anonymous, because, well, I’m talking about my kid pooping his pants. I don’t want this to follow him his whole life.)