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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Sudden enuresis, low specific gravity

06/11/2008

Question:

My 5.5 year-old son has been dry at night for 2.5 years, and has suddenly started wetting the bed every night. My husband (a veterinarian) took a sample to work with him this morning and said there was no glucose in it, but that the specific gravity was very, very low (I noticed it looked very dilute). He is not on any meds, although I took him to a naturopathic doctor a couple of months ago for constant ear infections (that weren`t helped by tubes). So I`ve been giving him Unda numbers (homeopathic herbs in an alcohol solution to help with immunity and ear infections), as well as probiotics and rubbing castor oil in his belly at bed time. But I have been hit and miss with all those the last month or so (I just forget). The enuresis began within the last 7-10 days. My hubby insists on stopping all that for now to see if it`s the cause, but I doubt that it is the cause. Thanks for any help!

Answer:

Your question on the surface is straightforward, but with the additional information is complex. In general, bedwetting (also termed nocturnal enuresis) that begins after toilet training generally is not related to any birth defect or significant illness, assuming that a urinalysis is normal (which it was in your son's case). Sometimes social issues increase the chance of having enuresis (such as a new school, changes in the home, etc.), but often no specific inciting event is found. I am unaware of any homeopathic treatments for enuresis that are effective consistently.

My suggestion would be to restrict fluids in the evening, try to determine when enuresis occurs. He might benefit from a wetness sensor (alarm), which can be obtained through Nytone, Pottypager, and the Bedwetting Store.

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Response by:

Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP Jack S Elder, MD, FACS, FAAP
Clinical Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University