Elimination disorders are disorders that concern the elimination of feces or urine from the body. The causes of these disorders may be medical or psychiatric.
recognizes two elimination disorders, encopresis, and enuresis. Encopresis is an elimination disorder that involves repeatedly having bowel movements in inappropriate places after the age when bowel control is normally expected. Encopresis is also called fecal incontinence. Enuresis, more commonly called bed-wetting, is an elimination disorder that involves the release of urine into bedding, clothing, or other inappropriate places. Both of these disorders can occur during the day (diurnal) or at night (nocturnal). They may be voluntary or involuntary. Encopresis and enuresis may occur together, although most often they occur separately.
Most children outgrow their elimination disorders successfully by the time they are teens, with the exception of those children whose elimination disorders are symptoms of other psychiatric disturbances.
Encopresis is treated with stool softeners or laxatives and by instituting regular bowel evacuation patterns. Enuresis is treated by behavior modification including changing nighttime toileting habits. The least expensive and most effective method is by having the child sleep on a special pad that sets off an alarm when the pad becomes wet. This wakes the child and allows him to finish relieving in the toilet.