Tag Archive | "bedwetting"

More Boys Wet Their Beds Than Girls

Researchers from the Prince of Wales Hospital at the Chinese University of Hong Kong had parents of about 3,000 girls and 3,100 boys ages six to eleven years old fill out questionnaires on how often their kids wet their beds.

The researchers found-

*  5 in 100 kids wet their beds at night

* 7 out of 100 boys wet their beds at least once a month compared to 3 out of 100 girls

* 9 out of 100 six year olds wet their beds versus 2 out of 100 eleven year olds

Commenting on the study is Dr. Joseph Barone, pediatric urologist at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He said “Bedwetting is hereditary in 4 out of 10 cases.  Sometimes the link between the bladder and the brain isn’t fully developed yet and more boys than girls tend to be bedwetters because girls mature faster.  By age 15, 99% of kids outgrow bedwetting.”

He added, “In most children, the best way to cure bedwetting is to use an alarm. This is a sensor in a child’s underwear, which goes off when it gets wet. It’s connected to an alarm on a wristband or next to their head. The alarm systems are considered the first choice, and they work 80 to 90 percent of the time if used properly.  If this doesn’t work, there are also medications, such as desmopressin acetate (known as DDAVP) or imipramine. However, these do have side effects, and they are a treatment, not a cure.”

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Laser Acupuncture for Young Bedwetters

According to a new study in Turkey, laser acupuncture therapy which is a noninvasive, painless, short term therapy with low cost can be considered as an alternative therapy for young bedwetters.

The researchers wanted to see if they could help kids stop wetting the bed by targeting points on the body associated with the bladder in traditional Chinese medicine.  From their clinic, they recruited 91 young patients who were bedwetters with an average age of 8-9 years old and who typically wet the bed about 4 nights a week.

About two-thirds of the kids received acupuncture therapy on traditional bladder points using a low-power laser 3 times a week for 4 weeks.  For comparison, the other kids received the same treatment using a fake laser.

Of the kids who got the real laser therapy, 40% stopped wetting the bed entirely after 15 days compared to 8% of those with fake laser treatment.  After 6 months, rates of complete improvement were 54% versus 12%.  Also, 6 months after the treatment, kids in the laser therapy group wet the bed on an average less than twice a week compared to 3 times a week in the fake laser group.

But outside researchers were more skeptical that the procedure is any better than current methods used to treat bedwetters such as behavioral therapy (setting an alarm to wake kids up to pee during the night) and medications that make the body produce less urine.

Dr. Steve Hodges, who was not involved in the study, is a pediatric urologist from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina said “there’s a valid scientific basis for nerve stimulation leading to bladder relaxation, and therefore increasing your capacity to hold urine at night but the question is whether you need that.”

Dr. Peter Lipson, who was also not involved in the study, is an internist in Southeastern Michigan said the effect of acupuncture was probably due to chance and challenged whether the bladder points that were stimulated by the laser were medically relevant.  “The diagram on those points does not correspond to any real, physiologic or anatomic thing and there is no way to measure, observe or otherwise verify the existence of these points other than by folklore” he added.

About 5 million U.S. kids over age 5 are bedwetters according to the National Institutes of Health.  Those kids make more urine during the night than their bladders can hold but don’t wake up to use the bathroom when their bladders are full.

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