18% of children suffering from nocturnal enuresis, that is, urinary incontinence while they sleep, could continue suffering from this disorder when they reach adults with the data revealed by a German research, which have been presented during the celebration in Glasgow (United Kingdom) of the Congress of the International Continence Society.

The data suggest that suffering from nocturnal enuresis during childhood can be an indicator of future nocturia -when the need to urinate does not allow sleeping- and nocturnal enuresis in adulthood.

Dr. Daniela Marschall-Kehrel, from the German Academy of Enuresis, explains that it is important to emphasize that nocturnal enuresis, which is usually a great concern for parents, can almost always be treated and is not the fault of the affected person, and that What parents have to do to prevent their child from having problems in the future is to consult the pediatrician.

The expert also states that the treatment is necessary not only to achieve the well-being of the child, but also because not correcting this condition can have negative consequences on the mental health of the child, and trigger psychological and social disorders.

The study involved 1,201 adults who answered a questionnaire taking into account their degree of kinship, and more than 53% of them admitted having nocturia, 18% reported current symptoms of nocturnal enuresis, and almost the remaining 29% acted as a control group . The results showed that, when compared to the control group, the fact of having suffered nocturnal enuresis in childhood was an important risk factor for future nocturnal enuresis in adulthood, as well as a strong indicator to present nocturia symptoms during Adult life

Impact on the quality of life

Additional research on the same topic, which was also presented at this meeting, reinforces the conclusions of the study. This is a questionnaire carried out by the area of ​​Primary Care of Boston (United States) to 5,503 adults, and whose purpose was to analyze the consequences of nocturia on the quality of life of those affected.

The study showed that the effects of nocturia are similar to those caused by other chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes or hypertension, and also suggests that the imperative need to go to the bathroom frequently during the night increases the chances that the patients, especially if they are young men or women suffer from depression.

The associate professor of the University of Barcelona and clinical head of the pediatric service of the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital (Barcelona), Santiago García-Tornel, believes that parents and health professionals still have misconceptions about what incontinence means.

80% of parents maintain the false belief that worries or stress are the main reason for the disorder

And is that many parents are unaware that nocturnal enuresis is a chronic disease, and about half do not give due importance and delay the consultation of a professional until the child urinates in bed at least five times in a week . On the other hand, 80% of parents maintain the false belief that worries or stress are the main reason for the disorder.

García-Tornell states that studies in this regard again point out that nocturnal enuresis is not a psychological disorder and should not be included in the DSM IV-TR, a manual considered to be the bible of psychiatrists. According to the doctor, the child suffering from enuresis should be treated by the specialist with appropriate medical treatment, and in very few cases the collaboration of a psychologist is necessary.


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