Bed-wetting's Real Cause Might Be...Poop?

Bed-wetting may not be caused by the bladder.Bed-wetting may not be caused by the bladder.When bed-wetting gets to that point, the one where parents seek out medical advice and specialists and children are past the age when nearly every kid in their class wakes up to soaked sheets, it can become and emotional and even expensive family issue to address.

But researchers have just found the remedy might be simpler than we thought. A study published in the journal Urology tracked children aged 5 to 15 in need of treatment for nighttime bed-wetting. Traditional treatments can range from restricting liquids to prescribing medications to surgery. And the culprit of the bedwetting behavior has often been seen as the bladder.

These new findings, however, point a little further back. Dr. Steve J. Hodges, lead author and assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. asserts that constipation could be the real problem for many bed-wetting kids.

Of those children examined, all 30 had (and let's get on our serious faces for technical talk here) had "large amounts of stool in their rectums, despite the majority having normal bowel habits." They were treated with laxative therapy. And as awful as that sounds, it brought relief, even scientifically. Within three months of the new treatment, 83% of the children were cured of their bed-wetting.

Hodges said that constipation was first linked to bed-wetting in 1986 but didn't really ever change clinical treatment of the issue.

"The definition for constipation is confusing and children and their parents often aren't aware the child is constipated," Hodges explained.

As much as kids discuss poop and as much as we know about their bathroom habits, you'd think we'd be more clued in to the problems constipation is causing our little (or big) ones. Fortunately, these scientists have taken on the topic parents are probably exhausted over and doctors may be befuddled by. While it's not wise to treat your own child with laxatives if they wet the bed (or ever, unless your doctor advises it), it's great to know that the discomfort and upset of bed-wetting could be cured much more simply and quickly than imagined.

Way to think outside the bladder, scientists.

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