Preparing for your appointment

Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be prepared for your child's appointment. Write down a list of your child's symptoms — including how long they've been occurring. Also write down any questions you want to ask your child's doctor. For instance, if your child is embarrassed, depressed or experiencing other psychological problems related to encopresis, you may want to ask your child's doctor to recommend a mental health professional.

What to expect from your doctor
Your child's doctor will have questions for you, too. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • How long has your child been toilet trained?
  • Does your child have hard, dry stools that sometimes clog the toilet?
  • Does your child take any medications? If so, which ones?
  • Does your child regularly resist the urge to use the toilet?
  • Does your child experience painful bowel movements?
  • How often do you notice stains or fecal matter in your child's underwear?
  • Have there been any significant changes in your child's life? For instance, has he or she started a new school, moved to a new town, or experienced a death or divorce in the family?
  • Is your child embarrassed or depressed by this condition?
  • How have you been managing this issue?

What you can do in the meantime
Avoid feeding your child anything that will worsen constipation. Instead, give your child high-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and encourage him or her to drink plenty of liquids.

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