Food allergies as a cause for bedwetting

food allergy - therapee blog - bedwetting treatment

Many theories have been proposed to explain the causes for bedwetting. One theory, which I must say is quite marginal, is that food allergies and sensitivity cause bedwetting. The assumption is that omitting some types of food from the child’s menu will help stop bedwetting. In theory, sensitivity to certain foods increases the chance for bedwetting.

There is a clear distinction between being allergic to food, which is manifested by fast reaction to proteins and can cause swelling and itching on the face, and a sensitivity to food, which is manifested by a delayed reaction to different chemicals in a wide variety of foods. In most cases, according to this theory, bedwetting resulting from a reaction to food will be due to a high frequency of food sensitivity rather than being allergic to certain foods.

It is hard to determine the type of food that causes sensitivity because of the late reaction compared with an allergy where the reaction is immediate.

Some researchers assume that the following five foods affect the body’s ability to activate the restraint mechanism: caffeine, carbonation, citrus, chocolate, and an overdose of vitamin C. These foods tend to increase urine production in the body and hence make it difficult to stay dry at night.

The researcher Sue Dengate found that bread could affect bedwetting because of the preservative calcium propionate, which is used in baking bread. She also claimed that dairy products stimulate the bladder and make it difficult to stay dry during sleep.

Supporters of the theory about the connection between bedwetting and food agree that this is not the main cause for bedwetting and can only be a contributing factor. The main cause for bedwetting seems to be maturity. Therefore, diet will not solve the bedwetting issue but can be helpful in outgrowing the problem.

The suggested treatment is identifying food that might cause bedwetting by eliminating all types of “suspicious” foods from the child’s menu and then adding them gradually one type of food at a time. If and when such a food is identified as causing bedwetting, it will be excluded from the child’s menu.