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Children's Health

Bowel Movement Issues

02/28/2010

Question:

My 8yr old (which has ADHD) son has been having issues with his bowel moments. He was fully potty trained at the age of 3yrs old. He wets his bed at night and has to wear pull ups to bed. Last year in second grade he started with the accidents (bowels) at school. Once a week, then 2 a week, and now it`s almost every day. We tried the reward system. We send him to the restroom every 15-30 min. We taken things away from him. Nothing seems to help. PLEASE HELP US!!!! THANK YOU!!

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question.  I am sure that your are very frustrated by your son's problems with his bowel and bladder habits.  It is concerning that he is experiencing these problems given that he was fully continent at 3 years of age.

You probably need to have him seen by his pediatrician to exclude diabetes as a cause of his bed wetting, and to evaluate him for constipation. Often children have very hard stools which cause pain when they try to pass them. This can lead to stool retention by the child, which can lead to accidents. Your pediatrician can work with you on developing a treatment plan to address his encopresis (stooling problem). Occasionally, when the encopresis has resolved, the bedwetting with resolve as well.

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Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati