Bed wetting

Hey all, we are 4 months in to diagnosis and my 12 year old son still wets the bed most nights, sometimes even twice or three times a night. This happens even when his blood sugar is in normal range before bed. Any thoughts/suggestions?

Hi @lucyinthesky827 and welcome to the forums. I would suggest you contact your endo as well as primary care doc if you have one. This could be something unrelated to his diabetes, especially if it started long before he was diagnosed. Or it could be an infection - although I myself find those are accompanied by high BG readings. A call to those offices, or your insurance’s nurse help line if you have one, should set you in the right direction.
PS - love your screen name!

Hi, Lucy @lucyinthesky827

Search the internet for the term “nocturnal enuresis.” You’ll see a number of “scholarly” discussion of how to treat it most effectively. As you’ll see, the most effective treatment is a “bed alarm.” But here are some things to consider that are not in those discussions.

Obviously, bed-witting is quite an embarrassment for a twelve-year-old. It can really negatively-impact a young man’s self esteem. It’s an even greater problem when he is already wrestling with his self image because of his T1D and its demands. The two together (i.e., T1D and bed-wetting) are a pretty tough load to put on a preteen.

Bed-wetting can sometimes begin as the result of stress, like the diagnosis of T1D. How do you tell? Has your son exhibited nocturnal enuresis for quite some time, or did it begin at about the time of his diagnosis with T1D? If it is the former (i.e., he has wet the bed for quite some time), then, visit with his physician (to rule out other causes), get a bed alarm, and follow the instructions included in the bed alarm box.

However, if your son began to wet the bed after his T1D diagnosis then there is obviously “stress” involved. What do you do? Visit with his physician and discuss the problem. Your son’s physician will likely want to consider physical contributions to the syndrome. His physician will also likely recommend having your son visit with a therapist to “sort out” how his diagnosis of T1D has affected how he perceives himself - it’s a big deal for a preteen! And you’ll also want to get a bed alarm for your son and follow the instructions.

One treatment that is costly and, in my professional experience is just not helpful, is a nasal spray that is supposed to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect sensitivity to the need to urinate. Big bucks, little help.

Hope this gives you a sense of where to start. I wish your son and your family the best!


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Thank you for your help! His bed wetting starting right before getting diagnosed (and was one of the symptoms that brought us to the doctor.) I was thinking that it was due to high blood sugar just like it was prior to diagnosis. I will check with his doctors and thanks for the ideas.

You mentioned that he wets the bed even when his blood sugar is normal at bedtime. Do you know if his blood sugar is going high overnight? Or is it high when he wakes up in the morning? If you’re not already checking his blood sugar in the middle of the night or using a CGM, I think that would be valuable information to have. I’m 33 and I still wet the bed when my blood sugar’s high enough, once in a blue moon. If he’s wetting the bed because his blood sugar is high, then the answer is pretty simple - adjust his insulin doses. If his blood sugar is normal when he’s wetting the bed, there might be something else going on (physically or emotionally).

We don’t have a CGM but I’m hoping when he gets one it will shed some light. It made him feel better when I told him someone older than him experiences the same problem. Thanks so much for sharing.

No problem, @lucyinthesky827. I used to be really embarrassed by it. My parents even made me keep a plastic cover over my mattress through high school. But - especially if it’s blood sugar related - it’s really not our fault and nothing to be ashamed of. And to this day I keep an extra cover over my mattress (just not a plastic one; no one wants their bed to crinkle).

Hi! I’m glad your asking questions. Another medical thought…do you have a nephrologist? Everyone kept telling us my son’s problem was emotional. Come to find out there was a blockage that prevented him from fully emptying his bladder. Just something to keep in mind later down the road, if wetting the bed isn’t due to stress or high blood sugar levels.
You’ve got this and so does he. Just keep being the best advocate you can be. :blush::heart:

The medication DDAVP also comes in pill form. Used on humans and dogs alike.

Hi Lucy,
Tell your son that yes, bed wetting can occur in the middle of the night with high blood sugars. I’m female, 64 years old and have had Type 1 Diabetes for 32 years.
I’ve wet my bed three times as a result of high blood sugars over the years.
Each time I had some other illness going on, which is why my sugars were out of control, but nonetheless, it was not fun waking up and finding myself soaked with urine in the middle of the night.
Please let him know that this is nothing to be ashamed of. It is just what occurs when the body is ill. High blood sugars are a sign of a sick body, one that is not functioning well. That is why we try to do all we can every day to manage our chronic disease.
We are all in this together. Please tell him he has our support.

Thanks everyone! He has also started to be unable to control his bladder during the day, as well. We go to the endo the day before thanksgiving and I hope they have answers.