You may feel angry or frustrated if you wake up to see a wet bed again. Yes, your teen is still wetting his bed, and you are not too happy about it. Teenage bedwetting is not an uncommon condition, and your child is not the only one who is wetting his bed at night. He may not wake up to a wet bed every morning, but the incidence of wetting is too frequent to ignore, as the teen has no control over his bladder. If you choose to praise him on dry nights, hoping he will not wet his bed again, you are not helping your baby in any way, because he does not do it purposefully.
What is Enuresis: Reasons for Teenage Bedwetting
Enuresis is the medical name for bedwetting in teens, with the condition affecting one in every 100 children. Also known as involuntary urination, nocturnal enuresis affects 1-2 percent of teenagers, especially those around 15 years of age. The condition affects more males than women.
Contributing factors may include diabetes mellitus, urinary or bladder infections, medication side effects, or family history.
- Primary nocturnal enuresis: This is a condition in which kids continue to wet the bed since their infancy.
- Secondary enuresis: This is a condition that develops after a child has learned to control their bladder.
Whether you have a six-year old who continues to wet his bed at night or a fifteen-year old who is suddenly experiencing nocturnal bedwetting symptoms, you should see a medicine specialist to find the root cause of the problem and rule out a medical condition.
Identify Causes of Teenage Bedwetting
Although there is no specific cause of bedwetting in teens, your child may wet his bed for a range of reasons. Try to identify any specific incident in your teenager’s life that might have triggered the symptoms. Is something serious happening in his life, which could be physical or psychological?
Do you have a history of nighttime incontinence yourself? If so, your child is also at a risk. If you have experienced nighttime bedwetting during teenage, chances are that you have passed down the condition to your child.
Children of parents who were bed wetters as an adolescent have a 40–77% chance of facing the same problem.
Certain medical conditions can cause teenage bedwetting. This may include sleep disorder, urinary tract infections, diabetes, hormonal conditions, or a neurogenic bladder. In order to assess the root cause of the problem, the physician will need to know your child’s hydration history, number of bedwetting episodes, sleep history, daytime urine voiding patterns, and behavior problems.
The human body produces an antidiuretic (ADH) hormone that controls the production of urine at night. However, in some people, there is insufficient ADH production. As a result, their bodies may produce too much urine during the night.
Some people with bladder problems experience nighttime enuresis. Due to too many muscle spasms, their bladder cannot hold a normal amount of urine. Additionally, teens with relatively small bladders are more likely to wet their bed at night, as their bodies cannot hold a large volume of urine.
Emotional Issues and Bedwetting
Some teens are deeply distressed at the turn of events in their lives, which may involve a tragedy, relocation to a new house or school, or fear and anxiety over poor performance in school or sports, divorce of parents, death in the family, or an accident. All of these factors can trigger a cycle of bedwetting in teens.
Child sexual abuse is one of the most common causes of bedwetting in children.
Other risk factors of teen bedwetting may include social, emotional stress, overactive bladder, constipation, delayed physical maturation, and small bladder capacity.
Diagnosis, Treatment of Teenage Bedwetting
A complete diagnosis of the teenage bedwetting problem requires a urinalysis and urine culture. In some cases, the doctor may perform X-ray or other tests.
He will also be interested to know about your child’s bedwetting history and whether this is a genetically inherited problem.
If you feel angry or frustrated at the sight of a wet bed again, do not fret. Your child, too, feels bad about it.
- Make it a practice that your child uses the bathroom immediately before retiring to bed. This practice will help empty his bladder and reduce the risk of bedwetting.
- Discuss your child’s reactions to any food allergens. Sometimes food allergies may increase bedwetting.
- Reduce the intake of salt in your child’s diet. Salt may help the body retain more fluid, which the bladder may release at night in some children with insufficient ADH production.
- Seek professional psychological counseling for an anxious, distressed child. Regular therapy can help your child manage some of the teen bedwetting symptoms.
- Avoid the intake of certain foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder, such as caffeine, chocolate, tea, coffee, and carbonated beverages.
- Use a bedwetting alarm that will wake your child up from sleep if he starts to wet the bed. This will help him get alerted and wake up to use the toilet to empty the bladder.
Bedwetting in teens is a common problem. You should consult with your doctor if the problem persists. Luckily, the bedwetting problem resolves on its own in 15 out of 100 kids every year.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com