Enuresis, the medical term for bedwetting, is an extremely upsetting and troublesome problem for any child, which may actually have an adverse affect on his/ her confidence or self-respect. For such children staying the night at someone else's place may prove to be a tormenting experience and even the thought of visiting their grandma or attending a summer camp may result in an intense weigh down for the child suffering from bedwetting. In fact, bedwetting is also a misery for the parents who are worried regarding the health and comfort of their child.
However, it is essential for everyone concerned to realize that enuresis or bedwetting is actually not a bad manner or action. First and foremost, this is nothing that the child is responsible for or it is not even a deliberate act on the part of the child. In case your child is suffering from bedwetting, you should bear in mind that your child ought to have your considerate endeavours to assist him/ her in solving the problem.
There are several children who had control over their urinary bladder at some point of time, but do not possess it any more. When these children suffer from bedwetting problems, it has to be connected to some kind of emotional problems or difficulties related to their organ. The emotional reasons may comprise traumatic or scary state of affairs, for instance, moving to a new home, the birth of another baby in the family or separation between his/ her parents. This type of strains may result in the child going back to a previous behavioural pattern.
Generally, bedwetting owing to strain is a temporary phase. However, organic problems may be associated with the infection of the urinary tract that can cause irritation in the urethra as well as the bladder and also obstruct their normal functioning, spinal problems that hinder sensations as well as deliberate control of the bladder and disruptive lesions of the bladder. Even children suffering from sickle cell disease (also called sickle cell anemia) or diabetes are likely to face problems in intending their urine and generally pass large amounts of urine - occasionally even to the extent of drenching their bed while asleep at night. In addition, any allergic reaction to food may also result in bedwetting, as foods that cause problems have the aptitude to aggravate the bladder. It is important that the child's physician to diagnose and treat these problems at the earliest.
Although no one is sure as to what is responsible for bedwetting by a child, there are several aspects that may be responsible for this condition. Some of these factors are discussed in brief below.
Bedwetting may be a problem in case your child has a small urinary bladder. Precisely speaking the urinary bladder of your child might not have developed sufficiently to retain urine produced throughout the night and hence, bedwetting. In addition, when the nerves that regulate the urinary bladder are sluggish in developing, a bladder filled with urine is unlikely to wake your child from sleep during the night, particularly if the child is a sound sleeper.
Bedwetting may also be a result of a hormone disparity. Some children do not produce adequate anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) during their childhood and this hormone inhibits urine production during the night. In addition, this condition may also be a result of an infection of the urinary tract. For instance, any infection of the urinary tract may make it problematic for your child to be in charge of his/ her urination. Some of the signs and symptoms of this problem may comprise bedwetting, recurrent urination, accidents/ involuntary urination during the day as well as pain while passing urine.
Occasionally disruptive sleep apnea, a momentary delay of breathing during sleep, may also be responsible for bedwetting problems by a child. When a child suffers from this condition, the breathing of the child is disturbed while they are asleep, usually owing to distended or inflamed tonsils or adenoids. Snoring, tender throat, recurrent infection of the ear and sinus and drowsiness during the day may be some of the other symptoms experienced by such children.
Diabetes, chronic constipation and anatomical imperfection or defect may also result in bedwetting among some children. For instance, when a child who is generally dry during the night faces bedwetting problems, it may perhaps be the initial indication of diabetes. Other signs of diabetes in children that may cause them to wet their bed may include enhanced thirst, increased amount of urination at one time, exhaustion as well as loss of weight despite having a healthy appetite. On the other hand, absence of a normal bowel movement may also result in the decreased capacity of the urinary bladder causing the child to wet his/ her bed at night time. Anatomical defect or imperfection is seldom related to bedwetting. However, this occurs sometimes owing to defects in the neurological or urinary system of some children.
Before we wrap up the discussion on this topic, it may be noted that the foremost concern regarding bedwetting is to comprehend the normal growth and development of a child in such a manner that the expectations of his/ her parents are practical. Even as your child continues to grow and develop, his/ her urinary bladder is able to retain an increased amount of urine. It is just when the bladder of a child is able to retain just around a cup and half of urine, he or she is able to sleep throughout the night without bedwetting. While this is a major requirement to prevent bedwetting, another prerequisite is the necessity of developing the neuromuscular control of the children. Together, these two factors can ensure that a child does not suffer from the embarrassing problem of wetting his/ her bed at night.
When to see a doctor
In most cases, as they grow, children overcome the bedwetting problem on their own. However, they definitely require some help to solve this embarrassing problem. In some cases, this condition may be a fundamental problem requiring medical help.
Hence, it is necessary to consult a physician in case your child continues to suffer from the bedwetting problem even when he/ she is about five or six years old. In addition, you should also seek medical help if your child suffers from bedwetting following a prolonged period of dryness at night and when the problem is associated with throbbing urination, pink urine, and abnormal thirst or even snoring.
While the bedwetting is definitely bothersome, when this condition occurs devoid of any physical cause, it generally does not give rise to any serious health hazards. However, as mentioned earlier, the culpability and humiliation suffered by a child owing to bedwetting may often result in poor self-respect or confidence.
Children who wet their bed occasionally may have rashes on their bottom and/ or their genital areas and this may create a problem, particularly if they sleep in soaked underwear. In order to avoid development of rashes, assist your child to clean his/ her bottom as well as the genital area each morning. Swathing the affected areas with a petroleum lotion during bedtime may also be effective in preventing rashes.
Supplements and herbs
There are a number of herbs which possess the attributes to cure bedwetting by means of relieving nervous anxiety. For instance, a blend of passion flower, chamomile, linden flower and skullcap has long been known to be an excellent cure for anxiety. These herbs facilitate in comforting the agitated nervous system and thereby help to solve the bedwetting problem. You may give your child one or two dosages of a tea prepared with these herbs early in the evening and also after dinner - preferably before they retire to bed.
It needs to be noted that skullcap ought not to be given to a child below six years. In case your child who is enduring bedwetting problems is below the age of six years, prepare an herbal tea using only passion flower, chamomile and linden flower.
Although aromatherapy treatments are not very common in curing bedwetting problems, it is believed that cypress essential oil is useful in treating this condition as it possesses astringent and antispasmodic attributes and is especially effective in cases where there is too much fluid. Add a small number of drops of cypress essential oil in any suitable carrier oil and leisurely massage the combination into the region of the abdomen. As a substitute, you may also put a few drops of cypress essential oil in the bath of the child who is faced with the bedwetting problem.
Additional things you may do
In addition to the things discussed above, you may also take other measures to help your child from suffering from the bedwetting problem. Usually, these methods are very helpful and popular. First and foremost, you should ensure that that the child does not take any fluids, such as caffeine, chocolate, carbonation or citrus drink past 3.00 p.m. In addition, make sure that the child also urinates prior to retiring to bed. In fact, make it an objective for the child to wake up sometime at night and use the toilet.
Rather than emphasizing on ensuring that the child remains dry throughout the night, assist your child to comprehend that it is all the more important to get up every night and use the toilet. If you use a system comprising rewards and sticker charts, it may work wonders for some children. According to this system, the affected child receives a sticker for all the nights he/ she remains dry and this could be a very effective incentive, as collecting a precise number of stickers earns the child some reward.
In addition, ensure that your child can go to the toilet easily every night. For this, you ought to clear the way from his/ her bed to the toilet as well as set up night lamps. If possible and necessary, you may also provide the child with a portable toilet. Many people are of the view that you ought to keep away from using diapers or pull-ups at home, since they may possibly demotivate the child to wake up and use the toilet. Still, there are other people who assert that using pull-ups assists the child in having a sense of being more self-determining as well as secure. However, the fact is that several parents only use the pull-ups while the child is spending the night elsewhere, for instance when they are on camping trips.
In addition to the herbs and supplement discussed above, there are a number of other herbs that are effective in treating bedwetting. For instance, you may try mixing different useful herbs in foods, teas, cooked foods as well as tinctures to cure bedwetting. The herbs that are useful in curing bedwetting are discussed in brief below.
Juniper berries possess diuretic properties that facilitate regulating blood sugar levels, provide relief from inflammation and also assist in easing problems related to the kidneys and urinary bladder. Similarly, the herb kava kava encloses antiseptic as well as diuretic attributes and aids in healing any type of infections of the urinary tract, sleeplessness, strain, anxiety as well as despair. Uva ursi is another herb that possesses diuretic properties and supports the liver, pancreas, kidneys, spleen and the urinary bladder. All these herbs may be used to help your child to overcome the bedwetting problem.