What Is Enuresis ?
Enuresis (say "en-yur-ee-sis") is the medical term for bed-wetting during sleep. Bed-wetting is fairly common and is often just a developmental stage. Bed-wetting is more common among boys than girls.
What Causes Bed-Wetting ?
Some Of The Causes Of Bed-Wetting Include The Following :
- Genetic factors (it tends to run in families)
- Difficulties waking up from sleep
- Slower than normal development of the central nervous system (which reduces the child's ability to stop the bladder from emptying at night)
- Hormonal factors (not enough antidiuretic hormone is produced, which is the hormone that slows urine production at night)
- Urinary tract infections
- Abnormalities in the urethral valves in boys or in the ureter in girls or boys
- Abnormalities in the spinal cord
- A small bladder
Bed-wetting is not a mental or behavior problem. It doesn't happen because the child is too lazy to get out of bed to go to the bathroom.
How Is Urinary Incontinence (Enuresis) Diagnosed ?
Urinary incontinence (enuresis) is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. In addition to talking with you and the child,
Your Child's Physician May Perform The Following To Help Rule Out Other Causes For The Wetting:
- Urine tests (to make sure there is not an underlying infection, or condition such as diabetes)
- Blood pressure measurement
- Blood tests
What Are The Treatments For Bed-Wetting ?
Most children outgrow bed-wetting without treatment. However, you and your doctor may decide your child needs treatment. There are 2 kinds of treatment: behavior therapy and medicine. Behavior therapy helps teach your child not to wet the bed.
Some Behavioral Treatments Include The Following:
- Limit fluids before bedtime.
- Have your child go to the bathroom at the beginning of the bedtime routine and then again right before going to sleep.
- An alarm system that rings when the bed gets wet and teaches the child to respond to bladder sensations at night.
- A reward system for dry nights.
- Asking your child to change the bed sheets when he or she wets.
- Bladder training: having your child practice holding his or her urine for longer and longer times during the day, in effort to stretch the bladder so it can hold more urine.
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