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What is encopresis (soiling)?

Encopresis is a significant form of constipation that's often misdiagnosed at home and undertreated. Encopresis is when constipation is so bad, kids are no longer passing stools because they have a blockage of stool. So what we doctors see with those kids is liquid stool, or skid marks in their underwear that parents think is loose stool, the kid had diarrhea, the teacher thinks the kid smells kind of bad, and the kid is embarrassed but doesn't understand the problem.

So if your kid is having frequent soiling of their underpants (which typically happens in grade-school kids), and sometimes has abdominal pain or sometimes doesn't, I think that's something that absolutely would warrant a trip to the pediatrician to try to figure out what's going on.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.