Adult Encopresis

February 1, 2018

Adult Encopresis

What is encopresis? Encopresis in adults specifically, is a condition where chronic constipation takes place. It can lead to adult soiling, and adult incontinence. 

What causes encopresis? There are five main causes:

1.  Reaction to medications- The most common are iron supplements, antidepressants, antacids, anticonvulsant drugs, and anti-spasmodic drugs, but this is in no way exclusive. Sometimes the medications taken to solve other problems can result in side effects such as chronic constipation. 

2. Nerve damage- There are many things that can lead to nerve damage, which in turn can lead to encopresis, such as using laxatives too often, lupus, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, lead poisoning, and thyroid gland function. 

3.  Bowel problems- When the bowels have problems because of things like your diet, hormonal imbalances, pressure, such as that of a growing womb resting on the bowel, or something like anal fissures, it can lead to encopresis. 

4.  Aging- To be clear, encopresis is not a natural result of aging, but some of the effects that occur when a person ages, such as improper food and fluid intake, side effects to prescriptions, lack of physical activity, extensive bed rest, or even irregular bowel habits, can lead to adult encopresis. 

5.  Obstructions- Intestinal obstructions such as tumors, volvulus, abdominal hernia, gallstones, and inflamed connecting tissue can cause chronic constipation. 

While the five main causes are the most likely culprits, severe lifestyle alterations, improper diet, IBS, lack of fluid intake, and too much junk food binging, as well as use of drugs (illegal narcotics), can also contribute to adult encopresis. 

Now that we understand the main causes of this problem, what can be done about it? 
How do you treat adult encopresis, and how do you manage the symptoms? Treatment is dependent on the cause of the problem, and should be discussed with a healthcare professional. However, typical treatment plans include emptying the colon of stool, then establishing regular bowel movements, and working on maintaining these regular bowel habits through diet and lifestyle. 

Managing adult encopresis is done using adult incontinence products, such as adult diapers, briefs, and pull ups. The right products can help manage encopresis with dignity and comfort, allowing sufferers to still enjoy their regular activities, without fear of leaks, etc. The CareGiver Patnership offers a number of products designed specifically for bowel incontinence and bowel control issues, which can be found here.  These products offer comfort, dignity, odor protection, skin protection, absorbency, ease of use, and so much more. There are products perfect for the active adult suffering encopresis, as well as the homebound, or bedridden. 

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