Thursday, December 25, 2014

I've wet my bed a couple of times in the past few weeks. What could be going on?

Bedwetting - referred to medically as 'nocturnal enuresis' - has a variety of causes, including medication.

I've wet my bed a couple of times in the past few weeks. What could be going on?

Bedwetting – also referred to by its medical term ‘nocturnal enuresis’ – has a variety of causes. Those include the overuse of sleeping pills and other sedatives, which can suppress a person’s ability to sense the urge to urinate in a normal fashion.
Bedwetting – also referred to by its medical term ‘nocturnal enuresis’ – has a variety of causes. Those include the overuse of sleeping pills and other sedatives, which can suppress a person’s ability to sense the urge to urinate in a normal fashion.

Babak Vakili, M.D., FACOG, is medical director, Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery at Christiana Care Health System

Bedwetting – also referred to by its medical term ‘nocturnal enuresis’ – has a variety of causes. Those include the overuse of sleeping pills and other sedatives, which can suppress a person’s ability to sense the urge to urinate in a normal fashion.

Another more common cause is sleeping. People typically produce more urine at night due to the increased rate of blood flow back to the heart from our legs when lying down. Also contributing to the increase at night are the nocturnal changes in regulatory hormones that affect urine production.

One other factor can be excessive fluid intake or the consumption of certain medications at night. For example, diuretics can cause increased urine production if taken at night.

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Medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, cardiac disease, lung disease and vascular disease also can cause increased urine production. The volume of urine produced at night time often is excessive in patients who have these conditions, which can destabilize the balance of regulatory hormones that control the production of urine. This can result in bedwetting.

Fortunately, bedwetting is relatively easy to correct. In many instances, it can be as simple a reducing your fluid intake and changing the timing of medications that increase urine production. Consult your doctor for help.

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Check Up covers regional health news and a wide array of healthcare topics from pharmaceutical happenings to patient safety. Read about some of our bloggers here.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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