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bedwetting teenager - Page 2

post #21 of 65
Has he seen a pediatric urologist??

My 10 yo DS had problems for many years. One day he was having pain in his penis, which prompted me to take him to the pediatrician. The pediatrician recommended a specialist and we had many tests done. He goes to Johns Hopkins here in Maryland once a month to the Pediatric Voiding Dysfunction Clinic.

I won't bore everyone with his medical history, but ADD does play a huge role in his physical/mental/emotional development.

I would highly recommend a pediatric urolgist. You just never know what could be causing this.
post #22 of 65
This is hard for me to admit too--but I will. I wet the bed till I was 14.

I also had no allergies, emotional problems (other than being stressed out about the bedwetting!) or urological problems.

I went on a medication when I was 10 that worked like a dream (I have no idea what it was, and when I asked my mom she does not either: ) until it was time to go off of it. I suspect it was a hormononal medication. Did you know that a hormone is in charge of us holding our urine at night? I was surprised to learn that, but did some research on it as an adult.

I also have had other hormone problems in my life--I needed fertility meds to get pregnant, and went through a very early meno in my 30's. I think for me it was all tied together.

Anyhow, I also got the spankings, humiliation, and the Alarm box from Sears. None of them worked. I had the ultimate motivation to stop--I was often invited to slumber parties and wanted desperately to go. I often did go, and would force myself to stay up all night, but there were 2 vivid memories that I had where I fell asleep and wet my sleeping bag. Oh my goodness--how horrible!! Bribes also did not work for me (my mom actually promised me a horse--something I had been dreaming of all my life--and I still could not do it!)..

I was a very clean, normal looking girl. I got straight "A"s in school and loved to read and play the flute. So this was not some kind of cognitive or emotional problem I had...and certainly not a case for abuse or CPS to be called. But I am sure I did smell badly when I first woke up in the morning--as did my P.J.s and sheets and mattress. I had a dry night only a few times a year till I was 14.

Finally I suddenly just stopped wetting. It was like a light switch being thrown on--I just stopped.

Now my 7 year old has the same problem, and I thank God for Goodnights!!! Those big night time pull ups are a great thing for her. They do hold every leak--and work great. She even went on a sleep over, and no one knew she had it on. She took the old one home in a large ziplock bag I packed for her, and no one was the wiser.

I personally think Depends would be fine--I wish I had that when I was younger. You could ask him how he feels about it. And yes, they will hold with no leaks. That is what they are made for! I worked in an old folks home one summer during college and over half our residents wore them. You may too some day!! They did not find them humiliating--waking up soaked with your own urine is humiliating...not using a product that prevents it. They are a blessing.

I agree a good urologist may be in order, but other than that he may just need to grow out of it. The urologist we saw for my daugher was not surprised when I told him I wet till 14--he said it is much more common than you would think. My mom wet till 12, and her mom did too--so I know it is hereditary.

Hang in there,
post #23 of 65
I read that one medication used actually prevents children from reaching stage 4 sleep, so they are more likely to wake up when they wet. I don't know if interfering with sleep is such a good idea, though.

My dh also wet until age 10, and he does not describe his childhood as abusive or stressful.

I read about one man who wet until age 25 and then just spontaneously stopped. I guess that's what always happens - it never goes on forever - and the age at which people will stop is different.

Does anyone know if it's true that if you wet the bed, your children will too?
post #24 of 65
Hey Greaseball,

When I saw the pediatric urologist for my daughter he said that the medication I was probably on was a hormone called desmopressin acetate (DDAVP), a synthetic drug that is similar to the body's natural antidiuretic hormone. The initial treatment usually lasts for three to six months. The problem is that often the problem returns after the child has stopped taking the medication. Some children can use DDAVP to stay dry on an as-needed basis, such as when the child is away at summer camp or at a friend's sleepover party. It did not mess with my sleep in anyway--actually, I think it made me sleep better when I was on it--and like I said worked great from the very first pill. I was dry as a bone while on that medication--but after going off my problem came right back.

Yes, bedwetting is hereditary. Here is what I found:

Genetic (hereditary) factors — If both parents wet the bed when they were younger, three out of four of their children also will have bed-wetting problems. If only one parent did, this decreases to slightly less than half and to one out of seven if neither parent wet the bed when he or she was younger. Recently, researchers have pinpointed chromosome 13 as the home of the bed-wetting gene, and further research continues in this area.

Here are the causes:

Hormonal factors — Under normal circumstances, the body's level of a hormone that decreases urine production by the kidneys (antidiuretic hormone) rises during sleep and causes the bladder to fill more slowly. In some children who wet the bed, this nighttime rise in antidiuretic hormone does not happen as expected. Therefore, the amount of urine made remains the same as it was during waking hours, so the bladder continues to fill as much as it would during the daytime.

Other factors — Some children with prolonged nighttime bed-wetting may simply have smaller bladder capacities compared with their "dry" peers.
Although the specific combination of factors varies from child to child, the end result is the same. In a small number of cases, primary nocturnal enuresis arises from a purely medical problem, such as a physical defect in the child's urinary tract, a neurological problem related to the spinal nerves or brain, or a urinary-tract infection.
post #25 of 65
Thread Starter 
Lisa, thank you very much for sharing your perspective. I had exactly the same thought as you, that it would be MORE embarassing to wake up with wet sheets and clothes than to have a fairly discreet way to deal with it. Thank you for sharing that.

I think the issue for Nick is how deeply he sleeps. There certainly has been no shortage of stress in his life , but he seriously can sleep through anything. Last summer a new house was being put up across the street and they were jackhammering for half an hour starting at 7 am. It was unbelievably loud. He snoozed right through it.

That's when I started to lose faith in the little AA-battery operated alarm
post #26 of 65
Thread Starter 
Addressing the hereditary issue: my parents are both fairly light sleepers, as am I. I never wet the bed past any point I can recall. My three siblings were all very deep sleepers and wet well into childhood. If our parents had a similar problem in their childhoods they definitely never acknowledged it. So that doesn't really fit Lisa's statistics, but maybe it's recessive?
post #27 of 65
This thread is scaring me. I didn't realize this could go on until 12 or 14. My 8.5 yr old dd night wets often. Sometimes she'll stay dry for a week or two and sometimes she'll wet every night for 2 weeks. She's also a very deep sleeper and rarely ever wakes up at night. I don't know if this is the reason or not. She usually stays dry if we take her to the bathroom before we go to bed, but not always.

The whole thing is such a pain. She is similar in terms of not caring if her bed smells like pee. Yuck! Sometimes she rinses off in the morning, but often doesn't. I've never noticed that SHE smells, though, and I'm pretty sensitive to the smell. I know she'd like to stay dry, but she's usually not superconcerned about it. We've never made a big deal about it, but I feel so badly for her because I know the sleep over thing will get harder and harder.

It was interesting to read your stories.
post #28 of 65
Thread Starter 
Sorry the thread is scaring you, mom at home. I don't know what the statistics are on the age when kids typically grow out of it. I do recall reading somewhere that 2% of adult males wet the bed. From my own experience with my family members, if my son were wetting past age 5 or so I don't think I would be comfortable with trying to wait for him to grow out of it. I feel like I would want to be pretty aggressive with trying different therapies and seeing a specialist early on. I don't want my son to go through a childhood of avoiding sleepovers and camps. I also feel like in a way it is so habitual for my nephew that he is resigned to it, and I think that makes it harder to overcome.
post #29 of 65
Just a note about the wet-stop alarm. We used this with my oldest when he turned 6 and had never made it through the night without having an accident.

He is a deep sleeper and the alarm did not wake him up, but it sure woke us up (it's as loud as a smoke detector going off).

For the first week my dh and I would hear the alarm and wake my ds up and take him to the bathroom. He has to be the one to stop the alarm and it was hard for him.

Once the alarm was removed the child needs to try to urinate in the toilet even if he has already completely emptied his bladder in bed. You are just trying to set up in the child's mind the connection between having to urinate and waking up to pee in the toilet.

The first week I was frustrated and felt it would never work. We were waking up some times five times a night with him.

But, by the second week my ds would start to wet, the alarm would sound, we'd wake him up and he'd finish urinating in the toilet. By the third week he was completely dry.

This was six months ago and he has only had one accident ever since then.

You might try this with your nephew again, but he must wear it every night all night and you will most likely have to help him wake up and go to the bathroom and change into dry underwear. If it is not used consistently, it is not going to work.
post #30 of 65
Daria, you seem to come across in some of your posts, as believing that if we parents had done the right thing when our kids were younger, this wouldn't be happening. I don't think that's a very fair assessment. You also mentioned in the beginning that you didn't feel your sister was doing enough.

I have had my daughter to a few doctors, all of whom told me the same thing, which didn't work. I've tried many homeopathic rem., and feel we've been as aggressive as possible without making my daughter feel even worse.

This condition is, to the best of my knowledge, a sleep disorder. (in my daughters case, it's combined with a small bladder)

Please don't assume we're not doing what's best for our kids, based on how you feel your nephews parents are doing. This is an extremely difficult issue and we need all the support we can get.

Was it in this thread that there was a link to a site about Michael Landon having wet the bed into his teens. He amde a movie about it.
post #31 of 65
Thread Starter 
Oh gosh Red, I don't feel that way at all, and I'm sorry it came across that way. I'm not sure how much to say about my sister in general, other than I think she has done the best she could in general as a single parent, and unfortunately that best is not enough to be what Nick needs. Currently Nick is not in her custody but I don't want to go into a lot of detail about that.

In my last post when I said I would want to be more aggressive with treatment, I did not mean that in a negative way toward what my sister did or didn't do. I think she believed he would grow out of it, and that this was a reasonable thing to believe, since she outgrew it eventually herself. But at the same time I have read about these alarms and other treatments on other message boards and it seems like parents have more success with these if the child is younger when they start trying. Who knows, maybe it works with these younger kids because they were the ones who were most likely to outgrow it anyway. But when the alarm arrived for my nephew and came complete with a little calendar and stickers for "wet" or "dry" to show the child's record of "accomplishment" it really did not seem age-appropriate for a 13-year-old. It seemed to just reinforce the humiliation that this was a problem only very small children would have. I guess it is a combination of these things, plus what I said above about wanting sleepovers and camp to be an option, that make me feel like I would not be comfortable with waiting for my own child to "grow out of it."

Again, I am sorry I offended you, and I really did appreciate your sharing your own experience. I know it is not the parents' fault when this is going on.
post #32 of 65
Because I have company and really shouldn't be online right now, I haven't read all the replies, so please forgive me if someone already mentioned this.
My sister wet her bed till about twelve, with all of the alarms and shrinks and behavior mod. used. Suddenly at 30 it started again. She immediatly went to the dr. who told her she has a rare kind of diabetes, hormonally affected. Had it been noticed as a kid, she could have been spared the mental stress and grown another 2 inches, as it tends to stunt growth. she's 5'2". I don't remember the name of the diabetes, but if anyone is interested, I will find out from her. It has something to do with water not being absorbed by the body, (she drinks a lot (and is thirsty) but the body doesn't process it properly.)
post #33 of 65
Originally Posted by isadorable
My sister wet her bed till about twelve, with all of the alarms and shrinks and behavior mod. used. Suddenly at 30 it started again. She immediatly went to the dr. who told her she has a rare kind of diabetes, hormonally affected. Had it been noticed as a kid, she could have been spared the mental stress and grown another 2 inches, as it tends to stunt growth. she's 5'2". I don't remember the name of the diabetes, but if anyone is interested, I will find out from her. It has something to do with water not being absorbed by the body, (she drinks a lot (and is thirsty) but the body doesn't process it properly.)
Interesting...I am only 5'1, an inch shorter than my shortest parent! My mom is 5'2, my dad is 5'9; my other siblings are 5'9, 5'3 and 5'2. (For those who haven't read the whole thread, I wet nearly every night until age 10 and had sporadic accidents until age 14.) Maybe there is something to this diabetes theory...although I find I am often not thirsty and have to remind myself to drink. If I didn't remind myself I could easily go all day with only 2 or 3 glasses of fluid.
post #34 of 65
I think you are talking about Diabetes Insipidus?

Originally Posted by from article linked above
In addition to increased thirst and urination, other symptoms can include irritability, poor growth, nocturnal enuresis (wetting the bed at night), and if your child is not able to drink enough fluids to keep up with the large amount of fluid being lost from excessive urination, then your child may develop dehydration.
A simple urine test can be done to rule this out.
post #35 of 65
Guess this is just a sensitive area for me, I didn't mean to read anything into your posts. I too have a sister, one who has no kids, but sometimes like to offer me advice on how I could this correctly... I thnk I'm sort of relating this to my own situation. Ok?

I did tyr MANY things when my dd was young. Her identical twin outgrew it a year and a half ago. My son wasn't potty trained til he went to poreschool but never wet the bed??? Kids make ya nuts.

I know what you mean about the stickers etc. You can make your own reward system though, if you think it might help. I think this is soo sad , but my dd used to say, "Yell at me Mom, make me scared. I won't do it if I'm scared." I don't do 'mean' on demand though. I tried once, but honestly. It just wasn't real.

I just want you to know that I wasn't real comfortable with them just 'growing out of it' either! But when nothing works, what else is there? And you have to walk a fine line. You don't want to put so much focus on this aspect of a childs life that they feel it's more than it is.
post #36 of 65
Yes, the link to Diabetes Insipidus (thank you dotcommomma!) describes what my sis told me she has. She wishes my parents had known to ask to check for it. I don't know how much they knew about it 25 years ago. My advise would be to get this ruled out before trying everything else, because if your child has it, the rest won't help.

Makes sense that th op's nefew would drink lots of fluids before bed (although not allowed), as thirst seems to be an issue.
post #37 of 65
Originally Posted by Red
Rules. Tell him he is expected to put all his clothes and bedding in the machine, every morning, before breakfast or tv. Remind him daily. He must, MUST take a shower, every morning. You don't even have to say why, just he needs to, he's a teen.
Daria: I agree with Red that you must just approach your nephew and let him know straight up what the rules are. You talking to him about it, while it might look like it's stressing him out, will really do the opposite. Once he knows the rules it will take the pressure off of him. He won't have to figure out how to handle this by himself, because you'll have set a guide (rules) for him to follow. I lived with a friend and her family my Sr. year in high school. It was so stressful for me because I didnt know what they expected of me. I got in trouble several times because I did things that were perfectly normal at my home but not at their home. The other thing I whole heartedly endorse is keeping on him about the showering thing. He needs you to do this. I know it's a pia but again, it will take the pressure off him and people won't talk about him behind his back!

Lastly, you rock as an Aunt. Really. It's people like you who add to the lives of the children around them. I know because I had aunties and mentors like you when I was a kid. The impact they had on me was tremendous.
post #38 of 65
What my mom did was sandwich the bed. She used trash bags (only thing available) but you can use a shower curtain or tablecloth from the dollar store. I see nothing wrong with frank tackful discussion about house rules, you make a mess you clean it (This is not only about bed wetting, just talk about it and mention about bed wetting).

She would put a trash bag down, then a sheet, then another trash bag, and then another sheet. It was relativity easy to strip a layer at night. Throw it by the washing machine. I was doing this at 5-6ish. I would think that having something larger to tuck in would be easier and stay put better.

I would seriously have him read Dr. Sears link on bedwetting. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071200.asp

Withholding water at night can cause issues with dehydration and constipation so make sure he is tanked up during the day. You might want to discuss with him his color of urine, except for the first morning pee it should be clear to a light yellow. If not he needs to drink more during the day way before bed so his body does not go into overdrive at night.

Does he also have issues with BM? Does he go daily? Does he have accidents/leave skid marks in his undies? If so look into chronic constipation being a cause of the problem. With the intestines press against the bladder because they are over full can cause a lot of mixed signals.
post #39 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I will pass on the info about diabetes insipidus. My father is diabetic as it happens. It's true that Nick seems to me like he drinks a lot of fluids. It's interesting that the treatment seems to be that same medication that is sometimes prescribed for bedwetting (DDAVP).
post #40 of 65
I was a bedwetter well into my preteens. My last public accident was actually in high school. I have a 2 fold issue - over active bladder and I sleep deeply. I actually fell out of a bunk bed in the 2nd grade and broke my arm, not waking til morning.

I appreciate how matter of fact my folks were. I always stripped my own bed and my routine after an accident was start a load of laundry and then jump into the tub, I was doing this by the time I was 5.

Even with my issues I was active in scouts - camping and other overnights - I rarely had accident while out though, I don't think I slept as deeply as I did at home.

I still have "close calls" now.
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