A Parent Reports That Her Nine-Year-Old Son Expereinces Nocturnal Bed-Wetting Nocturnal Enuresis: The Bedwetting Demon

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Nocturnal Enuresis: The Bedwetting Demon

For many parents, this is a source of frustration. For kids, this can be a devastatingly humiliating experience — far worse than any monster hiding under a bed or in a closet. I’m talking about nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting. There are kids who should be enjoying sleepovers and slumber parties, but they still have the disease. However, for a child with involuntary bedwetting, the idea of ​​sleeping in someone else’s home is fraught with the fear that his or her “secret” will be revealed.

The cause of nocturnal enuresis is not fully understood, but research suggests that it affects between 5-7 million children. Nocturnal means nighttime, so nocturnal enuresis is bedwetting that occurs at night. It is also classified as involuntary bedwetting in children after years of toilet training. Nocturia occurs more frequently in boys than in girls.

Conditions that indicate the presence of nocturnal enuresis

If your child wets the bed once, it doesn’t necessarily indicate nocturia. Here are some factors doctors consider when diagnosing nocturnal enuresis.

First, doctors need to determine whether nocturnal enuresis, or involuntary bedwetting, is frequent and recurring. Nocturnal enuresis is indicated when a child has episodes at least 2 times a week for at least three weeks.

The doctor will also take your child’s medical history. When diagnosing nocturnal enuresis, the process is done on the basis of “excluding” other medical conditions to determine what the underlying cause may be. The medical history portion of the diagnosis will focus on answers to questions about medications your child may be taking, urinary tract infections, bladder and spinal cord abnormalities, diabetes, and certain epilepsy-related disorders. Another factor your doctor will look for is a family history of nocturnal enuresis.

Nocturnal Enuresis: Causes

These questions help determine the presence of nocturia. While the cause is more of a mystery than a simple lab test, there are some clear signs that explain nocturnal enuresis. For example, childhood stressors such as death, divorce, or major changes can trigger nocturnal enuresis. Delayed or slowed growth and development may also cause nocturnal enuresis. It can also help if the bladder is too small. Some children just sleep and won’t wake up. Although some medications may cause your child to wet the bed, this does not constitute nocturnal enuresis. Once the prescribed course of medication is completed, the bedwetting problem will stop.

What can be done about nocturnal enuresis?

For centuries, the first step parents took to prevent nocturnal enuresis was to punish their children. This has led to a great misunderstanding of what nocturnal enuresis is, and to society seeing it as “bad behavior” in children. Parent education is absolutely necessary to treat this condition, as well as to the emotional well-being of the child. Children don’t wet the bed on purpose to irritate parents, parents need to be told they can take positive and helpful steps to encourage their children with gentle guidance and kindness.

If nocturnal enuresis is the result of a medical condition, treatment can be initiated with remedies appropriate for the condition.

For those who are good sleepers, using a bedwetting alarm may be the solution. The alarm will go off and the child is actually being “trained” to wake up and use the bathroom. Your doctor can instruct you on the proper use of bedwetting alarms. If slow growth is the cause, no specific treatment is usually needed, and enuresis should stop once the child is older.

Whatever you think may be the cause of enuresis; you should take your child to see a GP for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Copyright © Jared Winston, 2006. all rights reserved.

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