Nocturnal enuresis is involuntary urination that occurs at night (Involuntary urination that happens during the day is known as diurnal enuresis.)
There are 2 kinds of enuresis: primary and secondary. Someone with primary nocturnal enuresis has wet the bed since he or she was a baby. Secondary enuresis is a condition that develops at least 6 months – or even several years – after a person has learned to control his or her bladder.
Here is to let the young adults with this condition that they are not alone. The problem affects about 1-2 out of every 100 young adults.
Doctors don’t always know the exact cause of nocturnal enuresis. They do have some theories, though
Hormonal problems. A hormone called antidiuretic hormone, or ADH, causes the body to produce less urine at night. But some people’s bodies don’t make enough ADH, which means their bodies may produce too much urine while they’re sleeping.
Bladder problems. In some people with enuresis, too many muscle spasms can prevent the bladder from holding a normal amount of urine. Some teens and adults also have relatively small bladders that can’t hold a large volume of urine.
- Teens with enuresis often have a parent who had the same problem at about the same age. Scientists have identified specific genes that cause enuresis.
Sleep problems. Some teens may sleep so deeply that they don’t wake up when they need to pee.
Medical conditions. Medical conditions that can trigger secondary enuresis include diabetes, constipation, and urinary tract infections. Spinal cord trauma, such as severe stretching of the spinal cord resulting from a fall, sports injury, auto accident, or other event may also play a role in enuresis, although this is rare.
Psychological problems. Some experts believe that stress can be associated with enuresis. It’s not uncommon to feel stressed out during the teenage years, and things such as divorce, the death of a friend or family member, a move to a new town and adapting to a new school and social environment, or family tension can all feel overwhelming.
Doctors don’t know exactly why, but more than twice as many guys as girls have enuresis.
Manage what you eat and drink before bed. People with nocturnal enuresis can take some basic steps to prevent an overly full bladder by decreasing the amount of fluids they drink before going to bed. You can reduce the chances that you’ll wet the bed by going to the toilet just before bedtime.
It may help to avoid eating certain foods in the evening: Foods that can irritate the bladder include coffee, tea, chocolate, and sodas or other carbonated beverages containing caffeine.
Imagine yourself dry. Using a technique called positive imagery, where you think about waking up dry before you go to sleep, can help some people stop bedwetting. Some people find that rewarding themselves for waking up dry also works.
Use bedwetting alarms. Doctors and nurses sometimes prescribe bedwetting alarms to treat teens with enuresis. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 50% to 70% of cases of enuresis respond to treatment with these moisture alarms. With these alarms, a bell or buzzer goes off when a person begins to wet the bed. Then, you can quickly turn the alarm off, go to the toilet, and go back to sleep without wetting the bed too much. Don’t get discouraged if the alarm doesn’t help you stop wetting the bed immediately, though. It can take many weeks for the body to unlearn something it’s been doing for years. Eventually, you can train yourself to get up before the alarm goes off or to hold your urine until morning.
People who sleep very deeply may need to rely on a parent or other family member to wake them up if they don’t hear the alarm. The key to bedwetting alarms is waking up quickly — the sooner a person wakes up, the more effective the behavior modification for telling the brain to wake up or send the bladder signals to hold the urine until the morning.
Sometimes doctors treat enuresis with medication — although this is not usually the first course of action because no medication has been proved to cure bedwetting permanently, and the problem usually returns when the medication is stopped. Doctors sometimes prescribe a manmade form of ADH to decrease urine buildup during the night. Other medications relax the bladder, allowing it to hold more urine.
If you’re worried about enuresis, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor for ideas on how to cope with it. Your mom or dad can also give you tips on how to cope, especially if he or she had the problem during adolescence.
The good news is that it’s likely that bedwetting will go away on its own. In fact, 15 out of 100 kids who wet the bed will stop every year without any treatment at all.
Here’s a poem that could go with that….. Adapted from R.K. Nyra, one of our Amazing Girls.
We are all a little broken, and that’s okay
Sometimes the halos above our heads fall away,
And reveal the beastly horns like the light of day,
Yes, sometimes our inner demons come out to play,
Yes, we all have them, no matter how hard you pray,
And the “angels we are” are momentarily slain…
Only to remind us of a fact that’s true and plain,
That we’re all a little broken, and that’s okay.
We all have secrets, some in pleasure and some in pain,
And we all have scars, some held in pride and some hidden in shame,
We all have that one thing that makes us so afraid,
That if revealed would earn us the titles “unworthy and frail”,
And make our survival in this world to be all in vain,
We are all a little broken, and that’s okay,
Some so visibly and some only slightly so,
But broken still, sometimes we try to hide our pain,
Like with smiles and laughter and dancing in the rain,
But underneath we feel the truth, it always remains…
We ought to wear some of our brokenness with honor and pride
Like a winner’s medal after making it through the rough tide,
To let the pain know that we remember and we won
And more so, to let others know, they’re not alone,
And that sometimes it’s okay to be a little broken, a little torn…