As nutritional therapists, we talk to our clients about all sorts of things…and we talk about poop a lot! It’s not the most socially acceptable topic to chat about, but it’s important that we discuss what comes out of our bodies because our poop can be a very helpful sign about our health status.
But, wait! This is a post about bedwetting…so why are we talking about…poop? Well, actually bedwetting is very much related to poop- more specifically the lack of regular pooping (or fully eliminating even when “going often”)- you know, constipation!
I recently read this article, which was adapted from It’s No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child’s Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and Other Potty Problems, by Steve Hodges with Suzanne Schlosberg.
It’s a pretty good article and it contains accurate information…constipation CAN cause bedwetting and accidents- it is a commonly missed cause for these problems, especially in children. And, many children with chronic constipation are misdiagnosed because they are going to the bathroom often and don’t seem to have other symptoms of constipation. I suspect, however, that there actually would be more symptoms, just not the classic constipation symptoms that mainstream medicine narrowly defines.
What I strongly disagree with, however, is the standard treatment, which is generally the use of laxatives, fiber or medication. This is NOT the way to go.
Constipation does NOT arise from a laxative deficiency, I assure you, so treatment with those risky medicines are simply a band-aid that does not address the underlying dysfunction and long-term use can cause side effects and actually worsen the problem (and cause new ones). Excessive fiber can also worsen the problem for many, especially young children.
The most important thing, is that the underlying dysfunction MUST be addressed.
That means the biggest question is WHY is the child constipated?
Sometimes constipation is related to diet or food allergies. Emotions and stress can play a role. However, the true root cause of most chronic constipation is due to a damaged gut- when an imbalance of healthy gut microbiota leads to a porous (leaky) gut lining. This needs to be addressed through a gut healing regimen- like the GAPS protocol.
Enemas can be a good, safe, painless and side-effect-free treatment that works quickly and helps stop the bedwetting or accidents. It also helps by unburdening the colon- which is extremely beneficial to the body because the colon can return to its natural shape and the excess feces is not sitting in the body causing a toxic situation. But they are still only part of a comprehensive protocol that involves healing the gut!
Remember: The body speaks to us with symptoms and when those symptoms are covered up and the problem is not fixed, the body must find new ways (MORE symptoms) to communicate with us. To stop this cycle, we simply need to address the root cause and then the body will balance itself and there is not a need for further illness or discomfort.
Has your child experienced bedwetting? Did you find a link to chronic constipation?