Tolulope Otuneye, a General Medical practitioner at the National Hospital, Abuja, has described bedwetting among adults as a “genetic medical sickness’’. Otuneye told newsmen in Abuja on Saturday that bedwetting during sleep is also referring to as `nocturnal enuresis’. According to him, this is a medical condition known to occur more among children ostensibly from an immature bladder. He, however, noted that the phenomenon among adult, indicated an underlying health condition or traits inherited from the family. “It can be hereditary that is there is a higher risk in those adults whose parent or siblings had similar problems. “It can also be due to diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus (an imbalance in the production of Antidiuretic hormone) or suppressed kidney response to the hormone. BEDWETTING “At times, bedwetting can be caused by infection of the urinary bladder, problems with the bladder (too small or cancer of the bladder) and prostate abnormalities (enlarged prostate or cancer),’’ the physician said. According to him, psychological problems such as stress, fear, anxiety, sleep disturbance, side effects of certain medications, excessive ingestion of alcohol or caffeine containing and irritable bladder can also cause bedwetting in adults. He, however, said bedwetting among adults could be treated surgically with medication and a change in daily lifestyle routine. “Lifestyle modification can include reducing fluid intake, particularly during late afternoons or evenings; reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, urinating regularly or on a schedule like just before bed time.’’ He added that protecting the bed with special absorbent mattress cover and wearing absorbent briefs overnight could reduce the stench that might emanate from bedwetting. Mrs Wunmi Michael, a mother of three, told newsmen that she used to bedwet when she was younger till her university days. Michael said that the experience was embarrassing and made her develop low esteem, become introvert, smell and unable to make friends. “It made me feel unwanted by my family, particularly my mother, who always beat and embarrass me. “So, I tried to stay away from people all the time, even in school,’’ Michael said. She added that she took many traditional herbs to stop it and was even taken for deliverance on allegations of her having spiritual ties with the underworld. Corroborating Otuneye’s claim, Michael attributed her cause of bedwetting to over feeding and taking lots of fluid, especially at night as well as fear to go out to urinate at night.

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