Bedwetting can be incredibly distressing for both the child and the parent. Yet it is a common problem and thousands of children suffer every night. If you have a child who still wets the bed and you have tried all sorts of therapies or are contemplating doing so allow me to bring to your attention a few nutritional considerations.
Bedwetting is corelated to:
- Low Vitamin D status
- Low Omega 3 intake
By addressing any one of these but ideally all three there may well be some improvements.
Vitamin D and Omega 3
In fact, in 2018 Rhamani et al reviewed the effects of vitamin D and omega 3 on bedwetting. This was a randomized, placebo controlled double blind trial of 162 children. In such a trial some of the participants are given the treatment whilst others are given fake treatment (placebo) and neither the researchers nor the participants know which is which until the end (hence it is termed a “blind” trial).
In this study participants were divided into 4 groups. One group received 1,000 international units of Vitamin D a day, a second group received omega 3 at a dosage of 1000 mg per day, the third group received both Vitamin D and omega 3, and the fourth group received fake supplements i.e. placebo.
After 8 weeks there was a:
- 44% cure rate in the Vitamin D group
- 28% cure rate in the omega 3 group
- 45% cure rate in the Vitamin D and omega 3 group
- 3% cure rate in the placebo group.
How supplementing Vitamin D and Omega 3 might work?
- Vitamin D indirectly affects fluid retention by regulating calcium.
- Omega 3’s influence the signalling of the brain, prostaglandin E2 and the synthesis of nitric oxide.
A major contributing factor to bedwetting is constipation. A 2013 report in Urology states that constipation likely affects between 0.7% – 29.6% of children. Constipation and bedwetting are linked as non-voided stools in the rectum press against the bladder, decreasing the ability to hold urine.
How might you address constipation through nutritional intervention?
- Reduce sugar and white flour consumption
- Ensure your child is sufficiently hydrated
- Ensure they get sufficient essential fats. They soothe and coat the intestinal tract which makes a bowel movement easier.
- Watch consumption of milk and dairy products , except perhaps kefir and Greek yogurt as these provide beneficial bacteria that may actually ease constipation.
So if your child is suffering from bedwetting each night and you haven’t considered low Vitamin D, Omega 3 status nor have you thought how their constipation may be linked then these may be areas you would like to look at.