You might have potty trained your baby, despite that bedwetting can occur in your child. Medically known as Nocturnal Enuresis, it can be easily defined as nighttime bedwetting beyond age 5. It is a condition wherein the child unknowingly passes urine during sleep. We have seen babies or infants urinating frequently. It happens because the link between the brain and bladder has not fully formed in babies and toddlers. As the bladder feels full it releases urine. As they step into toddler age they only urinate during walking hours and as they reach the age of 5 most of the kids stop bedwetting. The connection between the brain and bladder develops as a child grows. But after this age if your child still urinates while sleeping, it is a matter of concern. Bedwetting affects many school age children and even some teens. Though, it’s not a serious problem and after a certain age children usually outgrow it. But still bedwetting is upsetting for both children and parents. Some foods and Ayurvedic herbs can help in treatment of bedwetting in kids.
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Types of nocturnal enuresis
Primary: Child always wet the bed as he/she has never had bladder control at night.
Secondary: A child had bladder control for some period of time (6 months) but due to some conditions later lost that control and now wets the bed.
Causes responsible for bed wetting
Bedwetting occurs due to delay in developments. It can be in one of these areas:
Brain: Unable to figure out that bladder is full during sleep
Bladder: Less space in bladder during night time
Kidney: More urine made during night
If any of the parents had this problem in childhood then 40% kids are likely to have this issue. If both parents went through it during childhood then, children would have about 70% chance of having the same problem.
The bladder and bowels sit very near to each other in the body. While the child’s bowel is enlarged by an excess of stool, it puts pressure on the bladder. It shrinks the bladder capacity to hold urine and results in accidental bedwetting. It is important to look at the signs of constipation if your child is wetting the bed. (What foods can help to treat constipation?)
Bladder or kidney disease
It may be the case if a child has bladder control problems in both daytime and night time. It happens because of weakened bladder muscles. Bladder Or kidney diseases can be followed up by other urinary symptoms such as pain while peeing or the need to pee frequently.
A spinal cord problem in childhood can develop with growth and can be a reason for bedwetting. Though it is a very rare cause of bedwetting.
It is one of the most common reasons for secondary enuresis. While moving to a new school or home, losing a parent or experiencing parental divorce or going through any major unpleasant event in life can be a cause of occurring bedwetting.
Children who wet the bed are often deep sleepers. It is harder for kids with deep sleep to develop an effective signalling system that wakes them up when they need to urinate. While sleeping kids pelvic floor relaxes and bedwetting occurs.
While sleeping children with this condition experience partially blocked airways. It can briefly stop their breathing when they are sleeping which changes the chemical balance of the brain and may trigger bedwetting.
In many cases intestinal worms are responsible for bedwetting. Treatment for the same can cure bedwetting in kids. (How to deworm kids naturally?)
Other medical conditions
In some cases medical conditions such as diabetes can be a cause of bedwetting in kids. Studies suggested that children suffering from ADHD are more likely to occur bedwetting due to different brain chemistry. Some kids don’t produce enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which helps to slow night time urine production. Some medications can also increase the chances of bedwetting.
Foods that irritate the bladder
Some foods irritate the bladder. Recognising these foods and removing them from your kid’s diet can help to stop bedwetting. Carbonated drinks, coffee or tea, acidic fruit juices, tomato based products, chocolate, spicy foods cranberry, sugary foods and drinks are some of the foods that can trigger bedwetting.
Things that can help to stop bedwetting
Decrease the number of drinks before bed time
It is important to control the amount of drinks kids have before bedtime. Try to encourage your child to drink more fluids in the morning and afternoon, rather than at night. Make it a part of the bed time routine to urinate before going to bed.
Establish bathroom breaks in the middle of night
Kids are usually deep sleepers. Wake them up to empty their bladder as it may be hard for them to wake up on their own.
Motivate them by giving responsibility
To some extent it is important to motivate the kid to be responsible and independent. If the kid wets the bed, instead of letting them sit there and feeling guilty and ashamed, calmly show them how to change and clean the sheet and the clothes they are wearing.
Foods and herbs that can help to cure bedwetting
High fiber diet
In treatment of bedwetting, a healthy diet can go way long towards improvement. Constipation is one of the factors responsible for bedwetting. Including fiber rich foods such as whole grains, oats, nuts and seeds, legumes, vegetables and fruits in diet can help to easily flush out harmful toxins from the body and are good to prevent constipation thus stopping or controlling bedwetting.
Magnesium rich foods in diet
According to research children deficient in magnesium might suffer from bedwetting. Lack of magnesium makes the nervous system less responsive. Including magnesium rich foods in a kid’s diet can help in treatment of bedwetting and can control or solve this problem. Sesame seeds, avocado, legumes, tofu bananas are some foods that are high in magnesium. (Magnesium for hormone)
Vitamin D and Omega 3
Studies suggested that foods rich in vitamin D and Omega 3 can help in treatment of bedwetting as it reduce the numbers of wet nights among kids suffering with nocturnal enuresis. Cereals, almonds, bananas, oranges, and mushrooms are high in vitamin D. Nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are rich sources of omega 3. Studies suggested that including foods rich in vitamin D and omega 3 can help to reduce the numbers of wet nights among children with nocturnal enuresis.
Brahmi has neuroprotective properties. It also possesses antioxidants which have anti stress properties. It helps to improve not only cognitive functions and mental health, but can also help in urinary disorders such as in treatment of bedwetting.
Shankhpushpi has anti- anxiety properties that are capable of treating uneasiness and restlessness and helps in relaxing the mind and body. It’s extremely helpful in improving digestion thus preventing constipation. Presence of bioactive compounds in this Ayurvedic herb helps to prevent worm infestation too. Treating all these concerns contributes in treatment of bedwetting in kids.
Ashwagandha has been used to treat stress, weakness and fatigue. All three of them are psychological reasons which trigger bedwetting in kids. Studies have shown that it can reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety and cure bedwetting. (Health benefits of Ashwagandha)
Home remedies for bedwetting
Chewing cinnamon bark daily can help to reduce bedwetting tendencies. If child refuse to chew you can fed powdered cinnamon.
Amla is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. It not only helps to build strong immunity but also prevents urinary and intestinal infections. It is helpful to control sudden urination while sleeping. Mix amla powder in warm water and sprinkle 2 pinch black pepper powder in it. This herbal remedy can slowly cure bedwetting tendency in kids.
Massage the lower abdomen with warm olive oil everyday. It helps to prevent involuntary flexing of the pelvic muscles which is the main cause of bedwetting.
Apple cider vinegar
It is said that apple cider vinegar reduces the acidic level in stomach that irritates the bowel. Bowel irritation is one of the cause of bedwetting. Dilute 2 table spoon of ACV in a glass of water and give it to your kid. to make it less bitter you can add honey.
Jaggery helps to keep the body warm which may minimize the bedwetting tendency in kids. Give your kids a piece of jaggery with warm milk everyday. You can prepare any treat with jaggery too.
Scientifically proven study conducted by NIH
Effect of vitamin D and omega 3 on nocturnal enuresis. Read here
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