Recently, a 14-year old young man came to live us. He’s been wetting the bed since he was born and his mom told me that he was really embarrassed about it. A few years ago, our family took a trip to Alaska and brought my daughter’s friend along with us. The friend was 13 years old. On the way there, she wet the bed. She was embarrassed about it, but told us it was normal and that it “happened to her sometimes”.
More teenagers than you’d think wet the bed apparently. In fact, 2.5% of all college students still wet the bed! When this 14-year old came to live with us, I was determined to figure out the problem for him once and for all. Was it his diet? His sleep schedule? I started doing research and I found a book called It’s No Accident: Breathrough Solutions To Your Child’s Wetting, Constipation, UTI’s, And Other Potty Problems by Steve J. Hodges and Suzanne Schlosberg. The book was amazing. The information in the book was presented by a urologist and it made a lot of sense to me. This man says that the cure for bedwetting and chronic UTI’s was discovered decades ago.
Basically, the problem is anatomical. Kids often don’t use the bathroom as often as they should when they’re young, so they hold their poop. And when they do this, little bits of poop build up in the rectum and make a “ball”. This “poop ball” then puts pressure on the child’s bladder and over time, after the poop ball builds and becomes big enough, it can put so much pressure on the bladder that kids have trouble holding their pee at night.
Apparently, according to this urologist, a lot of parents don’t buy this theory. They don’t understand how jam-packed the pelvis is with organs and how a foreign object (like a poop ball, for example) can push on the bladder and cause issues like chronic UTI’s or bedwetting. But if you have an older child with bed-wetting issues, the treatment for a poop ball is pretty simple and straightforward though mildly unpleasant.
The author of this book recommends a large dose of Miralax that depends on the child’s size and weight or a month of enemas to dissolve the poop ball. Some kids might need to do some simple exercises to help them retrain their bladders, but often the dose of Miralax or the enemas are all it takes to stop the bedwetting. In the case of the 14-year old who lived with us, after his dose of Miralax, he never wet the bed again. Of course, it’s important that kids who struggle with bedwetting also have a good diet that’s high in fiber to help them push all the poop out of their system. And some kids hold their poop during the school day because they don’t want to use the school facilities. For bed-wetters, these problems have to be addressed.
A lot of parents invest in bedwetting alarms, but according to what I’ve read, a lot of kids will sleep right through the alarms which means the whole household is then affected by the bedwetting (because everyone else gets up when the alarm goes off). The bedwetting alarms can put more pressure on the child and create more embarrassment about the problem instead of helping the child with it! Consider the possibility of a poop ball instead!
If your child has a bedwetting issues, I recommend that you get a copy of this book and follow the instructions for treating your child with over-the-counter Miralax or enemas (also over-the-counter) to see if it can cure bedwetting once and for all.