Diseases Linked to Bedwetting

By: Sharon Bell

An underlying illness like diabetes or a urinary tract infection may be the reason why your child wets the bed every night. This is true if other symptoms are present such as frequent or painful urination or a dribbling flow of urine. The same should be suspected if bedwetting suddenly occurs after many months of dryness.

"All enuretic children five years of age or older should have a thorough physical examination before non-medical treatment begins. Even though medical factors are only rarely responsible for bedwetting, your child should also have a urine examination to determine whether she has an infection that needs attention. Urinary infections are more common in enuretic children, especially girls, and should be treated even though in most cases the bedwetting is not caused by the infection and may persist after the infection has cleared up," said Dr. Richard Ferber, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Boston Children's Hospital, in Solve Your Child Sleep Problems.

Some researchers suspect that certain foods may cause bedwetting but this association has not been clearly established nor does the problem respond to dietary changes.

Bedwetting is also not related to one's dreams. Many people believe that if someone dreams of water, that person is more likely to wet the bed. But the opposite actually occurs: the dream is triggered by bedwetting not vice versa.

Much more important is the role of heredity. A family history of bedwetting will increase your child's risk of having the same problem.

"I believe heredity is the single most important contributing factor in children with enuresis. There is a significant incidence of wetting in children whose parents were also bedwetters. For example, while only 15 percent of all children are bedwetters, this figure increases to about 45 percent if one parent used to wet the bed and 75 percent if both parents did. It is not known what is inherited, but it may be some of the factors described above, such as a small functional bladder capacity," Ferber explained.

Rather than scold the child who wets the bed, parents should be more supportive and treat the problem with sympathy rather than hostility. Remember that bedwetting is beyond the child's control; he or she is asleep and is unaware of his or her actions.

Therefore, scolding the child will only aggravate the problem. Instead, show the child that you care about the condition as much as he or she does. A child who wets the bed is just as bothered about enuresis as you are. A caring attitude will go a long way in erasing whatever doubts the child has and will help him or her cope with the ridicule he or she may face from friends.

"Your reactions as well as those of your child to her bedwetting episodes are very important. She needs you to be understanding and supportive or she will surely suffer. But even if you are fully supportive, even if you really don't mind changing the sheets, and even if you can be emphatic, perhaps because you used to wet the bed yourself, your child may still feel ashamed, embarrassed and babyish. She may be reluctant to have friends sleep at her house and she may refuse to sleep at their homes or attend overnight camp. If her brother or sister tells friends that she wets the bed, she may be teased at school. The impact of enuresis can be very far-reaching then because it may affect your relationship with your child, her own self-image, and her interactions with ether children," Ferber said.

Will kids outgrow bedwetting? Find out in the third part of this series. To enhance your memory and support healthy brain function, take Neurovar. For more information on this powerful supplement, go to

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