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Bed wetting--what might be the cause?

Updated: Sep 29, 2019

Within the first few years of your child's life, bed wetting can be quite normal as they learn to 'potty-train'.

Each child will learn at their own pace and it may come easier to some than others. After a child turns 5 and is still wetting the bed on a regular basis (at least once a month for 3 consecutive months), a health care provider should take a closer look at what else may be going on.

Reasons that may lead to bed-wetting...

There are many outside factors to bedwetting such as family history, ADD/ADHD, disturbed sleep patterns, reversal or anti-diuretic hormone, urinary tract disorders, and allergies (allergies by definition are anything that cause increases of IgE within the body). This could be from asthma, seasonal allergies, as well as food allergies.

The mechanism behind allergies causing bed wetting is that the IgEs effect the smooth muscles that makes up the bladder and GI system, which may cause a smaller bladder capacity due to spasming of the tissues.

Studies show...

Studies have found varying results due to the fact that not all kids with bed wetting conditions have allergies--- or at least higher levels of IgEs. However, one study did find that in regards to children that experience bed wetting, those that had a smaller bladder capacity had higher levels of IgEs than children with normal size bladder capacity. This shows that allergens really can play a role in bed wetting. This is important when trying to narrow down the direct cause for your child.

So how can you help your child's bed wetting without unnecessarily restricting food for your child?

First you need to rule out some of the other causes that may have more pressing consequences such as asthma or urinary tract disorders.

If these other conditions are ruled out, you should then take your child to a registered dietitian. Your dietitian can help you rule out some of the main allergen foods and narrow down what may be the cause of your child's struggles.

If you have any questions about allergens affecting your child's sleep or otherwise, Mamas Maternal Health can help you figure out what is best for your little one, check out our website for find out how!

Until next time!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors


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