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September 12, 2000

Daily Care

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Question from Michigan, USA:

My eight year old son has had diabetes since he was six. His blood sugars are usually 160 mg/dl [8.9 mmol/L] or thereabouts before bed. He has been wetting the bed lately. This seems to go in a cycle two to three times a week, one week of the month. When he wakes up his blood sugar is the normal range. As far as I can tell, he’s not going high at night. We make sure he uses the bathroom two to three times before bed also. It has become embarrassing for him. We are supportive, but it doesn’t help him emotionally. He’s said things like ” I can never get married, I wet the bed”. Any help out there?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Wetting the bed (nocturnal enuresis) is a common problem with children. Although there are rare cases where this represents and infection in the bladder or other fixable problem, the majority of the time this is normal — albeit frustrating — stage for some children. When you have diabetes, high blood sugars can make this more problematic. There are many solutions — none of which are 100% successful. These range from medications to retraining methods like the “potty pager”. Your pediatrician should be able to direct you to appropriate resources and give you specific advice regarding how appropriate they might be for your son.

P.S. — reassure your son that he will certainly outgrow this long before he’s ready to get married!

MSB

[Editor’s comment: I agree with Dr. Brown, this is very common in boys this age, and there are several potential solutions to talk with your pediatrician about.

Some simple thoughts you might try first: Try eliminating all fluids after about 6:00 pm. Secondly, bedwetting tends to happen in the first hour or two after a child falls asleep. Rather than making him go so often prior to bedtime, wake him up about one and one-half hours after he falls asleep to use the bathroom. If he has already wet, you may need to do this a little sooner. Third, your son could use disposable pants at night.

SS]