I love this animation detailing what happens when you ignore the urge to poop and how soiling accidents (poopy pants) happen. I don’t agree with the recommendations in the video for sitting posture, or giving Miralax to children, but more on that later.
The video is geared toward children with encopresis. The Mayo Clinic explains, “Encopresis, also called stool holding or soiling, occurs when your child resists having bowel movements, causing impacted stool to collect in the colon and rectum. When your child’s colon is full of impacted stool, liquid stool can leak around the impacted stool and out of the anus, staining your child’s underwear.”If you chronically ignore the urge to poo, your rectum may not return to its natural size and… Click To Tweet
The consequences of ignoring the urge to go apply to adults as well. If you chronically ignore the urge to poo, your rectum may not return to its natural size and tone. You will also increase your chances of anal sphincter dysfunction.
Anal sphincter dysfunction is usually related to the bathroom averse crowd or those who ignore the urge to go because they are too busy to stop what they’re doing. If you routinely ignore the urge to go, you may develop what is called paradoxical sphincter contraction. “You’re pushing on the door at the same time you’re holding it shut. …You can figure these folks really easy. You stick your finger in their rectum and you go, ‘Okay, push,’ and you feel them clamp down.”- from Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach. BTW, that was a quote from a physician, that’s why he has experience sticking fingers in rectums.
I don’t agree with the recommendation of sitting in the 90-degree hip flexion. I prefer the Squatty Potty or another squatting platform that raises the knees up higher than the hips. It may not work with the younger children, but at least their feet will be supported. If the child feels like they are falling into the toilet you could add a seat reducer. Some children prefer to squat with their feet right on the toilet. I also don’t think a squatting platform is good for all adults. The lowest size Squatty Potty is 7 inches high, which is way too high for some adults, so I recommend starting with an inch or two of books under the feet if your posterior leg muscles are really tight. Then, work on lengthening the posterior leg muscles by changing your habits and doing your Restorative Exercises™ before moving to a higher platform. I will write about this later, but for now, you can read my Squatting Potty review HERE.
I also don’t agree with the Miralax recommendation. Here’s why: “The FDA admits to years of reports of tremors, tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior in children given laxatives containing PEG 3350, the active ingredient in Miralax. A 2014 FDA investigation into the safety of Miralax discovered that tiny amounts of ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG), the main ingredients in antifreeze, were found in all batches of the drug they tested.”- Dr. Aviva Romm, MD. Dr. Aviva Romm, MD has some great suggestions in her article Dr. Aviva’s Top 7 Steps for Treating Children’s Constipation Naturally (& Avoiding Miralax)
For a more in-depth look at constipation read my article Constipation AKA Log Jam.