If it wet the bed, to the doctor as soon as possible
Wet the bed at night it has consequences for school life, personal life and the family balance of the child that should not be overlooked. Going to the pediatrician as soon as possible for possible treatment is essential to solve the problem of enuresis, since contrary to what is believed, it is not always a temporary problem.
"Wet the bed at night, what we know as nocturnal enuresis, it is seen by a large part of the parents as an unimportant problem that will happen with age; this means that they do not consult the pediatrician specifically and do not ask, being able to go unnoticed until very late ages and constituting an important health problem for children and adolescents ", says Dr. Juan Carlos Ruíz de la Roja, Director of the Madrileño Urological Institute, Head of Urology Service of Br. Santa Cristina de Madrid and author of the book Why do children urinate in bed?
Low self-esteem, impediments to social development-going to camps, colonies or sleeping in friends' houses-lack of motivation and school failure, interruption of sleep, isolation, etc., are some of the consequences to wet the bed at night which is considered by children who suffer between 8 and 16 years, as the most traumatic event behind the divorce and fights between parents.
It also represents a significant economic burden because it is estimated that the washing and drying of clothes, as well as the change of mattress more often than usual amount to an annual expenditure of 1,200 €.
What is nocturnal enuresis and what does it affect?
Night enuresis is, according to experts, the emission of urine during sleep, without waking up, in children over 5 years of age. It can affect any child and is considered enuretic one who has difficulties in nocturnal micturition control at least once a month, as indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Children's Continence Society.
Night enuresis is a frequent disorder, with an incidence of approximately 16% at 5 years and 10% at 6 years, although medical professionals agree that it is underdiagnosed and under treated, so the incidence is supposed to be higher , and does not receive proper handling and treatment. Those over 14 are probably the group that suffers the most because of the social implications that the disorder has for a teenager.
90% of cases of enuresis are due to physiological causes that can be maturation of the bladder, production of nocturnal urine higher than normal, etc., the remaining 10% may be due to an unusual event in the child's life or in their family structure such as the birth of a brother, the separation of the parents, etc.
Wetting the bed has a hereditary component
The first global study of the association of the genome in enuresis (GWAS in its English acronym), indicates that it is probably hereditary. Research shows that the risk of bedwetting is 5 to 7 times higher among children with an enuretic father and about 11 times more if both parents were. It has also been found a close relationship with other pathologies such as constipation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
One of the main problems is the lack of information that has turned this disorder into a taboo subject. The solution necessarily involves consultation with the pediatrician who, in addition to providing information about the problem, will perform the appropriate tests to rule out other more serious pathologies that are associated with enuresis. The pediatrician will then determine the treatment to be followed, whether the adoption of behavioral measures, the contribution of the hormone that the body does not release, or others.
Enuresis has an effective treatment that avoids traumas
For Dr. Ruíz de la Roja, "child enuresis is not anyone's fault and both families and doctors should be able to talk about the problem without shame or guilt, but the impact is often underestimated and trivialized, so that no help is sought or offered, despite the high numbers of children suffering from enuresis, what is more striking is that only 2 out of 10 children are evaluated and treated at any time by a doctor, which It is not licit that knowing the medical causes for which enuresis occurs, even 60% of these children must wear a diaper every night and the rest, or 40%, wet directly the sheets during sleep. "
"After 5 years, if we establish the exact diagnosis of nocturnal urine leakage and apply the appropriate treatment, it has a high cure rate, but studies clearly indicate that early intervention causes children to stop urinating before and after its complications are milder and disappear before, if not treated in time, it can reach adolescence or adulthood, with dramatic consequences "concludes the expert.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice:Dr. Juan Carlos Ruiz de la Roja, Director of the Madrileño Urological Institute, Head of Urology Service of the H. Santa Cristina de Madrid and author of the book Why do children urinate in bed?