By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published July 4, 2014, Last updated November 17, 2016
Enuresis or bedwetting in children explained
A common troublesome problem in children is enuresis or bedwetting, which means that the child is unable to exercise control over his urinary bladder and ends up urinating while sleep. This is involuntary and child does not do this on purpose. In fact this happens because the child has not developed adequate voluntary control over his bladder muscle. This means that he or she is not able to hold the urine voluntarily. When the bladder becomes full, the urine escapes on its own. Usually, children gain good control over their bladders as they grow but in some cases, it gets delayed. In some extreme cases, it has been known to exist even up to teenage years. This problem tends to cause a lot of embarassment for the child and the parents are unable to understand the reason for this behaviour and even find a solution for this problem. The most common and natural reaction of the parents is to scold the child, hold out some threats to the kid or trying to bribe their way by offering some rewards if the child stops doing this. None of these things have been known to have any positive outcome and the child keeps doing the same thing over and over again. Parents often end up using diapers for such kids so that the child can sleep peacefully and so can they themselves but this is hardly a solution. In this manner, the child is hardly going to learn to exercise control over his bladder. On the top of it, such children often develop a diaper rash which makes wearing the diaper also a difficult proposition.
Causes of bedwetting
It has been seen statistically that the problem is prevalent in boys much more than in girls. In fact boys are affected twice as much as girls. It has also been observed that thee is some familial occurrence though this does not mean that it is hereditary in nature. The usual prevalent causes of bedwetting include a small sized urinary bladder, persistent urinary infections, constipation, stress and hormonal imbalance. One commonly overlooked cause is diabetes mellitus as the general perception is that kids or youngsters are unlikely to have this problem. But in a majority of the cases, no cause is established even after the most careful investigation and examination. Under such circumstances, it may be difficult to give any explanation for the presence of this problem but it persists all the same. One or the other emotional insecurity may be present in the subconscious of the child. This may be due to some family issues or a lack of self esteem or some jealousy due to the arrival of a sibling. Usually this factor is not considered too important but it should not be overlooked as the child may feel threatened that his position may be usurped by the presence of a younger sibling.
Do’s and Dont’s
It is important for the parents to understand that a child gains control over his urination or his bladder by the age of around four years. Some children may be a little late to do so. Therefore, one needs to give enough time to the child. At the same time, one needs to understand the child does not wet the bed knowingly and usually feels quite embarassed doing this. Under these circumstances the child needs to be dealt with in a sympathetic manner. Punishing or threatening the child is not going to be of any help. Some confidence building measures can be of help and it makes sense to reassure the child that there is nothing wrong with him. Complaining about this activity in front of relatives, friends or teachers cannot be of any help and should be avoided. Another thing that parents should do is to avoid giving too much liquids like water, tea, coffee or milk in the evening. Tea and coffee tend to increase the output of urine as they are known diuretics. Last but not the least, make sure that the child urinates at night just before going to bed.
Role of Homeopathy in the treatment of bedwetting
Enuresis or bedwetting responds very well to homeopathic medicines and I have had remarkable success in its treatment. The commonly used medicines have been Belladonna, Causticum, Equisetum, Kreosote and Causticum. In the matter of a couple of weeks or so, the child is able to hold his urine and rid thimself as well as his parents of a lot of anxiety and stress.