Bedwetting is Genetic

Bedwetting is a common problem in 5 to 7 million American children and adolescents. Many times parents blame themselves for their child’s bedwetting. However, bedwetting has many factors including genetics. A group of researchers at the department of genetics at the University of Copenhagen found that if both parents had bedwetting issues there is a 77% chance their child will also, but if none of the parents had bedwetting issues the risk decreases to 15%. The researchers concluded that children would stop bedwetting around the same age as their parents. Thus, bedwetting can be seen to be highly associated with genetics.

A study by the American Family Physician has found that bedwetting is part of a bigger behavioral syndrome and behavior is not related to a single gene, but multiple interacting genes. The chromosomes that are known to be associated with bedwetting are 5, 12, 13, and 22. Chromosomes are tightly packed DNA, that code for growth, development, and bodily functions.

A bodily functions related to bedwetting is the release of Antidiuretic hormones in the pituitary glands. Antidiuretic hormones control water in the body. In some children, the body could have a delay in releasing more antidiuretic hormones at night. This would cause the body to release too much urine while children are asleep.

Since behavior is a large part of our embedded DNA, research shows that a child with behavioral deficit disorder such as Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can have 2.7 times higher incidence of bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis. Usually, children with attention deficit disorder are deep sleepers; therefore, they tend to have a difficult time waking up to urinate. Deep sleepers are unable to wake up when their bladder is full.

Whether your child is a deep sleeper or not, genes can impact your child’s bladder control capacity. Therefore, try different treatment options such bedwetting alarms, and/or medicine or motivational therapy to help your child stop bedwetting.