Diabetes should be ruled out in children who have increased toileting and bedwetting, according to a new study from Southampton Children’s Hospital, UK. In their study of 261 children aged 18 months to 16 years, 33 percent had been seen by “multiple doctors” before receiving the proper Type-1 diabetes diagnosis. Symptoms of weight loss, fatigue, along with heavy wet diapers and increased toileting were presenting symptoms. Often, the children were less than 2 when the diagnosis was made. Of course, wet diapers and bedwetting at night are normal in this age group.
In any child with new onset bedwetting, a simple urine test that is done in the pediatrician’s office can quickly rule out diabetes (looking for glucose in the urine) or urinary tract infections that could be contributing to bedwetting. I recommend that any child who has been dry at night, then suddenly begins bedwetting, has a simple urine test to make sure there is not diabetes or infection. The majority of the time, this test will be normal but it’s important to rule these things out. Of course, even if your child has always had bedwetting, but you notice new weight loss, fatigue or increased amounts of urine, get their urine checked.
Bedwetting in children with known Type 1 Diabetes
Children with Type 1 Diabetes, which is now under control, will sometimes continue to struggle with bedwetting. Bedwetting alarms can help this group of children become dry by helping them become aware of when the wetting occurs and putting that feeling together with getting up to urinate in the bathroom. Choose a time to introduce the alarm when their diabetes is stable and there are fewest family stressors.