5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Our stuggle with enuresis

I've been asked to share this story several times on different bulletin boards that I visit. I've decided that it would be a good idea to go ahead and post it on my blog so that maybe others in a similar situation can find it. Maybe it will help some other families who are struggling with enuresis with their children.

Keithen just turned 7 yeas old and still wets the bed at night and sometimes has accidents during the day. Here is a little about our journey with enuresis.

When my son turned 5 he was bedwetting every night and having at least one, usually more, accidents each day. Our family doctor did a urinalysis to make sure he didn't have any infections or anything and that came back normal. He referred us to a urologist. The urologist put him on Ditropan. He also ordered an u/s. I filled the perscription and waited a bit, unsure if I wanted to give it to him. We decided to wait on the u/s, feeling pretty sure that this was not physical but instead a discipline one. (Didn't care if he was wet...wouldn't stop what he was doing to go...engrossed in play...we saw a pattern to when accidents happened...etc.)

That wasn't working so we tried the meds - I think we did a total of 3 doses of Ditropan. He HATED it. There was no pretty color or flavoring to it to make it palatable to kids. It smelled very strong and tasted nasty. The side effects were horrible. He would get dizzy and he fell asleep in the middle of the day. With the start of Kindergarten coming up soon, I felt the side effects were unacceptable. I didn't want him getting sleepy like that when he was in school and he was simply not himself on the medication. We stopped them - like I said I think we tried 3 doses. We struggled through the rest of the year on our own.

Around his 6th birthday, someone on the Mothering boards suggested chiropractic to me as a treatment for enuresis. We were open to the idea and decided it was worth a try. Through a network of local mothers, we found a chiropractor with special training in treating kids.

We started treatments 3 times per week. This did seem to help. The first time that he woke up dry, I honestly cried. I was so happy for him to see that he was making progress. And I was so relieved that maybe we had found an answer. At our next appointment I had to choke back tears of joy and relief as I told our chiropractor our good news. I even asked to give him a hug because I was so deeply grateful for the help he had given my son.

Shortly after staring treatment, he was waking up dry about once every two weeks - a huge accomplishment compared to how things had been! And his number of daytime accidents decreased. Around this same time we had a checkup with our family doc and with his urologist. We refused to try the meds again because of the side effects. We reported that the chiropractic treatment was helping and agreed to do an ultrasound. The ultrasound came back normal.

As his chiropractic scans got better and his accidents decreased, his visit frequency decreased. After a couple of months of chiropractic treatment, our chiropractor suggested that we try DHA supplements. These made a HUGE difference for us. This was probably the point that nighttime accidents went down to once a week or so. Daytime accidents at this point were reduced to ones that seemed undeniably behavioral (only wetting while playing on the computer). We were doing so much better!

You may wonder why the DHA supplements were recommended and how they help. Children with enuresis have increased levels of prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 and renal nitric oxide. Bed-wetting children have an underdeveloped region of the brain that controles nighttime micturition (as noted by their inappropriate startle response). Omega-3 fatty acids play a critical role in the development of and function of the CNS including micturition control and startle response. Nations with the lowest prevalence of bed-wetting children consume more than double the fish/seafood as compared to the nations with the highest prevalence of bedwetting children.

A week before his 7th birthday, I was frustrated once again. He had backslid. He was no longer cooperating with taking his DHA and he was wetting the bed almost every night. (He still wears pullups to bed.) He had been having a daytime accident several days per week again. I still think those are mostly behavoral - tied in to computer/gameboy/etc. - activities where he is super focused. Chiropractic visits are now only once every 2 weeks as his body looks good, so I don't think the increase in accidents was due to a physical problem.

We've decided to take away his Gameboy privledges until he can go a week completely dry during the day. He's had it on a limited basis for a couple of special occasions, but mostly it's been in parental possession lately waiting for him to take some responsibility for his toileting habits.

Now, a month after he turned 7, things seem to be looking up again. He is having occasional dry nights and is having more dry days than wet ones. He will probably be getting his Gameboy back sometime this week if his current streak continues.

I think I do need to get him back on the DHA on a regular basis as the drop in the DHA levels in his body may be creating some of our problems (at least the night-time part). I may have to find ways to sneak it into his food if he continues to avoid taking the pills.

Last year in Kindergarten he only had 2 or 3 accidents at school all year long. This year, in first grade, he has had two accidents at school which were both "giggle pees" when he was laughing too hard with a friend in gym class and at a class party. I'm relieved that it hasn't been a big problem for him at school. I remember that my cousin was "that kid" in grade school who was always being sent to the class for clean clothes. I remember the stigma that it can carry to be the "stinky kid" who wets his pants. I am thankful that he doesn't seem to be dealing with that at school.

I hope our experience helps some other families out there who are struggling with this problem. I know I am eternally grateful that we found chiropractic and the DHA supplements to help our son instead of going the traditional medical route with the prescription drugs.

For some further resources, parents may want to check out -

Bedwetting & Elimination Problems message board - http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pselimprobs

These are the DHA supplements we use - http://www.crohns.net/page/C/PROD/PROD/NNL3180

Here is an article on enuresis and chiropractic - http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/ch...bedwetting.htm

Also - I just found this recently and may give it a try - http://www.soundtells.com/Acupressure/Online/iBedWet.htm


  • At 4:03 PM, May 03, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you for posting this. I found this from a link on Mothering's message boards and found the information about chiropractic and DHA to be really interesting... my dd (age 4 and soaks her pull-up every night) also has an exaggerated startle response sometimes.

  • At 7:10 PM, January 10, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 7:42 PM, January 10, 2008 , Blogger Carissa said...

    Our daytime problems are better (but not totally gone.....just rare now). The night time wetting is still there every night. Honestly, we slacked off on the meds for a while and now we need to try to get him back on them on a regular basis again.


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