Allergies and Bedwetting

My 8 year old son has springtime allergies. It seems that he always wets his bed more during this time. Is there any connection?

Although I have not seen research that directly connects seasonal allergies to an increase in bedwetting, there are some factors that may coincide to increase your son’s wetting episodes. First, does he take any medications during this time? Antihistamines, even non-sedating ones, may change his sleep patterns. You could experiment with dosing times to see if the time of day the medication is given makes a difference. Some allergy medications increase thirst so your son could be drinking more than usual. Increasing fluids during the day so he isn’t so thirsty in the evening is important.

With spring, more outdoor play and sports activities are also common. A later bedtime and going to bed exhausted can contribute to bedwetting. Trying to maintain a schedule where he gets an adequate amount of sleep each night can be helpful.

Other than seasonal allergies, some children’s bladders may be “allergic” to certain foods. Some foods have been reported to make the bladder more irritable (contracts more easily) or increase the production of urine. These foods include citrus (lemonade or orange juice), artificial food colors, carbonation, foods with added Vit C ( or megadoses of Vit C), candy and foods with high sugar content. Milk and milk products produce some natural sedative effects so in some cases cause the kids to sleep more soundly. Having milk products earlier in the day is best. Experimenting with eliminating most of these things allows you to see the impact, if any, on the wetting episodes. Then gradually restart and keep tract of your son’s response. If you do the elimination diet while he is using a bedwetting alarm, it is very easy to know when and how often the wetting occurs. You can see for yourselves if allergy medication, diet, milk, fatigue, or any other springtime event makes a difference.

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