Your pediatrician will be an important part of dealing with bedwetting. However, since medical health professionals are so busy today, you will want to make sure that you approach your child’s physician in a way that ensures maximum cooperation. Here are some tips that can help you communicate with your child’s pediatrician in a way that will ensure better treatment options for your child:
Keep a diary
One of the best ways you can help your doctor treat your child is to keep a diary of your child’s bedwetting. Starting from the time your child seems to be bedwetting more frequently, keep notes in a small notebook. In this notebook note:
- When your child wets the bed (dates and times, if possible)
- Any family history of bedwetting
- Any results of bedwetting (crying, problems at school, teasing)
- Any medications your child is on or any medical problems your child has had or is having
- Any questions you have about bedwetting
- Any questions or comments your child makes about bedwetting
- Any comments that your child makes before bedtime that may indicate a problem (aches before bed, emotional upsets during the day)
- Any bedwetting products (disposable liners, moisture detectors) your child is using and how effective they seem to be
- Any other symptoms your child seems to be experiencing
- Notes on any resources or information about bedwetting that you encounter that seems helpful
Health care professionals are busier than ever today and keeping such a diary can be a big help to a busy physician. Go over the notebook with your doctor and together look for patters, and possible causes. Get answers to the questions you have written down.
Keeping a diary can also be useful for you and for your child. If your child shows improvement (wetting every few days rather than once a night) you can show your child this improvement. If you yourself have any questions, you can easily refer to the resources and information you have collected in your notebook for more information.
Explain any underlying problems
Sometimes, doctors will not pay attention to bedwetting once they have ruled out an underlying condition, because they assume that it is not a very threatening situation.
If your child’s self-esteem, grades, or social development is affected by bedwetting, you need to let your doctor know because at that point bedwetting has moved from a non-threatening problem to a problem that is affecting your child’s development. Discuss with your doctor the steps that must be taken to stop bedwetting or at least cope with the problems your child has developed as a result of it.
Did your child’s bedwetting develop at the same time as other symptoms?
If your child has developed bedwetting and snoring or extreme fatigue at the same time, you should mention this to your pediatrician.
In rare cases, something called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may contribute to bedwetting. OSA means that some blockage – such as enlarged lymph glands called adenoids – block flow of air to the lungs.
In some cases, this problem causes snoring while for some children OSA causes brief periods where breathing is entirely interrupted. OSA is thought to cause enough to seriously interfere with breathing. The most common cause of OSA is restless sleep, early morning headaches, and fatigue.
Some researchers have also linked this condition to bedwetting. Bedwetting caused by OSA is very rare, but can be treated, usually by removing the tonsils or adenoids. Your doctor can run a special test to determine whether your child’s bedwetting is related to OSA.
Get a Second opinion
If you are not happy about your doctor’s response regarding your child’s bedwetting, don’t be afraid to seek more help, possibly from a specialist. Get the care for your child that makes you feel comfortable. Every doctor has a different approach to child bedwetting. If your doctor is satisfied that your child will overcome the problem while you want some form of treatment, you may seek a physician who will help you.
Many parents are reluctant to seek a second opinion, even though they are not satisfied with a child’s care. Many doctors are reluctant to recommend a child see an urologist or other professional because bedwetting is a problem.
However, you are the parent and you should take responsibility for your child’s health. If your instinct tells you that something is wrong, seek a second opinion. Consider the following problems that can easily be mis-diagnosed or overlooked:
- bladder reflux – This illness can contribute to bedwetting and can require surgery to correct
- constipation – If your child does not empty his or her bowels regularly or completely, remaining waste can press down on the bladder and cause bedwetting.
- Malfunctioning of the urinary sphincter – The sphincter muscle is responsible for controlling urine flow. In those people who do not have a functioning sphincter, bedwetting is chronic and will not go away by itself.
- Kidney diseases – Some kidney diseases cause bedwetting as well as other symptoms. Without resolving the kidney problem, there is not much chance in successfully beating the bedwetting problem.
- Undiagnosed underlying problems – Some children may wet the bed due some serious problem such as abuse, diabetes, epilepsy, OSA, or other problems. If medical avenues are not carefully explored, these conditions will remain undetected and untreated, putting the child at risk.