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Enuresis

Does your child continue to wet their bed at night? Enuresis is a type of elimination disorder in which a child or individual continues to involuntary experience bed-wetting. Nocturnal enuresis is the most common type of elimination disorder in which a child continues to wet their bed throughout the night. However, when a child wets during the day, then it is referred to as diurnal enuresis. It is important to note that while some children experience one or the other, there are some children that experiences a combination of both. However, a diagnosis cannot be made unless the child is at least 5 years of age. Furthermore, it is believed to affect 7% of boys and 3% if girls by the age of 10. It is also important to take in mind that bedwetting does not occur because the individual was too lazy to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, but it is something that they cannot control.

What are the symptoms of Enuresis?

  • Repeated bed-wetting
  • Constant wetting in the clothes
  • Throughout a period of 3 months, the child wet the bed at least twice a week every week
  • Constipation
  • Training, dribbling or other unusual symptoms when the individual urinates
  • An individual may have a cloudy or pinkish urine (including blood stains)
  • Children may urinate as often as 10 to 12 times a day while adults may urinate 3 to 4 time

What causes Enuresis?

It is believed that the following factors may be associated with the development and diagnostic of the disorder:

  • Small bladder
  • Severe stress
  • Persistent urinary tract infections
  • Any developmental delays that may interfere with toilet training
  • Other behavior disorder or emotional disorders (i.e. anxiety, sleep apnea)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Consuming an excessive amount of fluid before bedtime
  • Associated with Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Hormone problems
    • Individuals may not produce enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Constipation
  • An individual cannot recognize when their bladder is full
  • Having a family history (i.e. parent or sibling) who has experienced Enuresis increases the risk of an individual developing such disorder

How is Enuresis treated?

Although it is not treated for majority of the cases because the child eventually outgrows the disorder, the following may be used for severe Enuresis:

  • Alarms
    • Having an alarm every time the child wets the bed will help the child to effectively reply to bladder sensations throughout the night
  • Bladder training
    • Schedule the trips to the bathroom, which will challenge the child to get used to “holding” urine for a longer period of time
    • Helps the child stretch the size of the bladder
  • Rewards
  • Medications

How can I help myself or loved one outgrow Enuresis?

  • Limit the amount of fluids you consume before bedtime
  • Make sure your child goes to the bathroom when beginning their bedtime routine and then again right before they actually go to sleep
  • Ask the child to change the bed sheets themselves every time they wet their bed
  • Create a reward system for yourself or your loved one
  • Use an alarm system that rings every time you wet the bed
  • Train your bladder, force yourself to hold in the urine for a longer period of time
  • Be sure to know and acknowledge that its not the individuals fault