Adult Bed Wetting
Adult bed wetting is a problem that occurs in adults worldwide. They don’t disclose this problem to anyone or even to a doctor as they find it very embarrassing to talk about it. Adults tend to sleep soundly and may wet the bed at night unknowingly . Adult bedwetting is also called as Adult enuresis. It can affect 1 in 100 adults.
The medical term for bed wetting is called as nocturnal enuresis. Nocturnal enuresis is divided into two types which is primary nocturnal enuresis and secondary nocturnal enuresis. Adult bedwetting is a type of secondary nocturnal enuresis where the adult experiences bed wetting after staying dry. This occurs due to infection, stress or any other medical condition. This affects different people in various ways. Although bed wetting is called as nocturnal enuresis, it can occur at any time whenever you go off to sleep like if you doze off in the train. Such adults may find it difficult to stay away from home at night or go to the college or go for any business trips or even get married fearing that their partner may come to know about this. Apart from this, it may cost a lot of money like washing and drying the bedding everyday and buying disposable pads.
Causes of adult bed wetting
The causes of adult nocturnal enuresis are many, although the individual may not know the reason.
- Some adults may suffer from overactive bladder wherein the individual may wet even during daytime. They may have increased frequency to urinate, Urge to pass urine often and may even leak on the way.
- Certain infections like urinary tract infection or other bladder problems may cause bed wetting.
- Stress and anxiety may also be the reason for bed wetting.
- Adult Bed wetting can be a symptom for diabetes and kidney disorders.
- As the person ages, the muscles of the bladder may lose the elasticity causing bed wetting.
- An imbalance in the muscle of the bladder can allow the urine to leak out without the person being aware of it. The bladder may be small and may not be able to hold the urine for long time as a result of which the urine may start leaking out slowly.
Remedies for preventing bed wetting
- Do not reduce the fluid intake with the fear of wetting. Make sure that the intake of fluid is reduced only after dinner.
- Limiting the amount of caffeine can reduce the urge to urinate. Caffeine is a diuretic and is linked with adult bed wetting.
- Keep an alarm clock to wake you up in the middle of the night for urination to reduce adult bed wetting.
- It is necessary to learn to increase the amount of urine that a bladder can hold. This is needed in cases where you have an urge to go to the toilet frequently in the daytime or if you wet frequently in the night. Learn to hold the urine as much as possible in the daytime. This requires willpower.
- Enuresis alarms are designed to wake you up in the night when you start wetting either by sounding a buzzer or by vibration. This alarm will help you learn to hold your urine.
- Avoid alcoholic drinks especially in the evening as they can increase your urge to urinate due to their fluid content.
- Talk to someone whom you trust and share your problems. Sometimes the intensity of the problem may get reduced if shared with someone else. Contact a doctor regarding the problem. Think positively and have a positive outlook towards life.
- In case of bed wetting, avoid nylon bed sheets or clothes as they may not absorb the smell. Waterproof fabrics may be comfortable. In case you want to go out or you are going to stay out, use disposable under sheets and pads.
In spite of the precautions taken if bedwetting in adults does not get cured, it is necessary to consult a doctor who can investigate the underlying cause of the problem. The doctor can identify the cause of the problem by carrying out various methods like medical history of the bed wetting adults, physical examination, urine tests, neurological evaluation, urologic examination and tests.
How can I help myself?
You need to drink at least 6-8 glasses of fluid (ie. water, tea, coffee, milo, soup, etc) every 24 hours. If you don’t drink enough, your body may not be able to get rid of its waste products efficiently. It doesn’t matter when you drink, but you may find it sensible to drink mostly during the day, with less fluid in the evening.
Some people find that drinks with caffeine (such as coffee, tea, cola and some other fizzy drinks) irritate the bladder. Try cutting down on these, especially in the evening. It is worth experimenting with different drinks to see if they all have the same effect.
Alcoholic drinks make the bedwetting worse. This may be the effect of the alcohol itself, or the extra fluid, especially in beers and other long drinks. Low-alcohol drinks may be better.
Waking at night
You should ensure you empty your bladder before you go to sleep. Some people find that waking to empty their bladder, by setting an alarm clock for a couple of hours after going to bed, can save a wet bed, although of course it does not “cure” the problem. If you do this, vary the time you set the clock for, otherwise your bladder may get into a habit of emptying at the same time, whether you are awake or not.
If you have a daytime problem of frequency and/or urgency, or pass urine very often at night, it may help to increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold. A “normal” bladder should hold up to two cups (400-450ml) of urine. If yours doesn’t hold this much, practice “holding on” and going to the toilet less frequently during the day. This takes a lot of willpower. It may help to keep a record or chart. See also: Bladder training
It is often said that a problem shared is a problem halved, and this can be true of bedwetting. Talking about it can be a tremendous relief, especially when you realise that most people will be sympathetic and supportive.
Bedwetting can seem like a real barrier if you want to start a new relationship. Talking openly and honestly, before the situation arises, can sometimes bring you closer to a partner – you have shown enough trust to share your problem.