Bed wetting or nocturnal enuresis is among the most common problems that pediatrics face from anxious and frustrated parents. About 20 % of five year olds would experience bed wetting. The rate gets smaller as the children gets older. Upon reaching 10 years of age, the percentage goes down to 5%. Even though some professionals and parents see bed wetting as a passing problem, about 2 to 3% of children who continuously bed wet do so because of medical problems.
There are several causes of bed wetting. Primary nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting since infancy can be attributed to two most common causes. It could be a neurological-developmental delay or these children are just delayed in developing their ability to stay dry and control their bladder. Meanwhile, there are also studies showing that bed wetting could also run in the family. If one of the parents are bed wetting until the age of five, there is about 45% that one of his kids will also experience that.
However, it is still not safe to rule out other causes. Genetic and developmental delay can be the most common causes but they cannot be identified immediately. There are different causes which can be detected by series of exams which is why, it is important for some parents to go to a doctor first.
Here are other causes of bed wetting:
• Diseases and infections. About 5% of bed wetting is caused by infections and disease, urinary tract infection is the most common.
• Physical abnormalities. There are some individuals who actually have a smaller bladder and lesser bladder capacity. Children’s bladder may not be developed enough.
• Constipation. Too much pressure on the bladder like constipated bowels can cause urination.
• ADHD. Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD have 2.7 times of higher possibility for bed wetting to happen.
• Drinks. There are some drinks that causes more urine like caffeine and alcohol consumption.
• Hormonal imbalance. There are some children who do not develop anti-diuretic hormone or ADH. This hormone slows down urine production.
• Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is an obstructive sleeping condition, the individual finds it difficult to breathe and is obstructed while sleeping. Bed wetting is not the only sign or symptom of sleep apnea, it could also include snoring, sore throat, and even daytime drowsiness.
• Food allergies. Although, the link is not properly established and may require additional research, food allergies can also be cause of bed wetting.
• Psychological causes. There are some incidents that may trigger bed wetting among children and even adults. For example, a traumatic experience like an accident, sexual abuse, death or bullying.
• Stress. Bed wetting could be associated with returning or secondary enuresis. Stress from family issues or other social events like divorce, moving to a new place, a new member of the family or death could be a factor for bed wetting to return.
Understanding what causes bed wetting would help you understand how to manage or “cure” your child’s bed wetting incidents. However, before you get any kind of medication or undergo any therapy, it would be better to get medical help. Through series of tests, doctors would be able to identify what causes you child to wet the mattress and later on, define a therapy suited for your kid.