ADHD, Bedwetting, and Bathroom Accidents: 4 possible causes

Bedwetting and ADHD coexist. Doctors are finally agreeing on that. Roughly 25% of kids who bedwet also have ADHD ( So which came first, the ADHD or the Bedwetting? Or did something else (a star exploding, for example) cause both?

I am not a Medical Researcher, so I can’t answer that riddle.

I can say that, through trial and error, I discovered a few things that seem to alleviate the frequency of my child’s bedwetting. Curiously enough, the these same things also seem to have an effect on his ADHD symptoms. Coincidence? Maybe.

I am not proposing that I know what causes ADHD and Bedwetting. Nor am I proposing that my suggestions will cure your child. I am saying that maybe these things will help your child too.

Thankfully, my child has mostly outgrown bedwetting. I can usually trace any relapses to one of these possible causes. 

1.  Growth Spurt: Protein needed!

I can tell when my child is growing. He sleeps hard. As an infant, he grew so fast that he required sleep about 20 hours a day to keep up with his growing. See, the actual act of growing usually occurs during sleep.

My son’s height was more than off the charts – it was in outer-space!

As a toddler, his muscles couldn’t keep up with the growth of his bones. As a result, his muscle tone was low and and his joints weak.

Muscles need protein to grow and develop properly. Without the proper protein, muscles lose mass and don’t function correctly.

Guess what controls urination? A muscle! The sphincter muscle to be exact. A child with muscle issues cannot be expected to have proper control of his bladder.

The sphincter muscle is responsible for both bowel movements and urination. In fact, the gut (or bowel) and the bladder (urination) are so closely tied together that one pediatrician even told me that it’s not possible to do #1 and #2 at the same time. I disagree  (Sorry Dr. Johnson, I have evidence otherwise). (Continue Reading)

2. Irritated Gut: The curse of the Free gas-station popcorn.

As a toddler, my boy LOVED popcorn. To his delight, the gas station we frequented gave out a free bag of popcorn with every fill-up!

As a toddler, my boy also had an extremely irritated gut. He experienced difficult digestion, chronic diarrhea and bladder spasms. By bladder spasms, I mean that he had frequently succumbed to random shoots of urine. They just happened, uncontrolled, day or night.

I was concerned enough about this that I had him evaluated by a pediatric gastroenterologist. This doctor was supposed to be the best in the state (or was he the only one? I’m not sure). The gastroenterologist was an hour late for the appointment, then abandoned us mid-appointment to attend to… well, an emergency surgery, so I guess I can’t fault him.

Anyways, when he returned, he briefly looked over my son and told me that since he was tall, he couldn’t possibly suffer from any gastric issues. (What?) Good height = good nutrient absorption = no problems. Then he left me with no suggestions on how to help my diarrheic son. I was not impressed.

Then we moved. We moved away from the gas station that had the free popcorn. Our new  gas station had no free popcorn. The diarrhea went away. The bladder spasms became less frequent.


I was so relieved that I didn’t pause to figure out why things changed.

Then my son’s new school provided popcorn one day as a special treat. 

Guess what came back?

That’s right. Diarrhea and bladder spasms.

The why: (Continue Reading)

3. Less Inflammation, Please.

The market is flooded with natural products that are tooted to cure this, help with that. Choosing which ones to try can be difficult. I rely on my child’s specialists to help narrow down the choices.

I believe in trying new products during the summer, when I can better control things like snacks, lunch menus, and schedules.

I only try one new product at a time so I can best gauge how well the new product works. During the summer after third grade, our chiropractic neurologist suggested that we try an inflammation-reducing product. He believes that inflammation is the root cause to many ailments, ranging from muscle aches to digestive issues to nerve disorders. (Continue Reading)

4. Stress.

According to medical journals and urologists, if your child has never been a chronic bedwetter then stress will not cause your child to start bedwetting.

Stress can and does cause children to change their behavior. The changes in behavior can trigger bedwetting.

Stressed children change their sleeping behavior. They may not sleep well. When they do sleep, they may fall into a deeper sleep and not respond to body signals. Therefore, they may wet the bed instead of waking up.

According to the, stress can cause hyper-stimulation. Symptoms of hyperstimulation include increase in urine production during sleep and a change in nerve behavior and muscle control.

Remember, the sphincter muscle controls urination. If the sphincter muscle cannot be controlled, neither can urination.  

In my journey, I have seen my preteen son relapse to bedwetting after stress. For us, bullying = stress = bedwetting.

The Bedwetting Puzzle

Protein, gut irritation, inflammation, and stress are just four pieces to the bedwetting puzzle.  More than likely, I am trying to solve a 100-piece puzzle with only 4 pieces. What are the other 96 pieces? For now, I’ll be content with having pieced together the top left corner.

Do you have more pieces of the puzzle you would like to share? Please comment below! Remember, this is your journey too!


You may also be interested in this post, ADHD and Bedwetting: 5 tips to make life better.

This post is not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your doctor as needed.

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