Is your school aged child still wetting their bed? Please take the time to read this it might help if like me you tried everything…
A few tips on Bedwetting and your child.
My son randomly started wetting his bed around 6 years of age. He’d been dry at night since he was 3. Like most parents grappling with a school aged child wetting their bed we spoke to doctors who pointed the finger at constipation, told us that many boys this age we their bed, reduced fluid intake at night, banned fluid intake at night, tried bedwetting alarms .. all to no avail. We finally ended up with pediatric neurologist specialists after he started showing other symptoms such as shaking hands, restless legs, and burning feet. Thankfully he was given a clean bill of health and we were sent on our way with a suggestion that he see a psychologist in case it was anxiety related. At this stage he was wetting his bed around 4 nights a week. Some weeks it was every night.
This went on for 3 years. If my son wasn’t anxious before he certainly was at this point. Bedwetting is one of the worst forms of cruelty for a boy of this age. They are scared of sleepovers and school camps, exhausted from endless interrupted nights, their self esteem takes a terrible hit at an age where they are so impressionable.
I started researching diet triggers for bedwetting as my last resort. After trying elimination of gluten and dairy with very little success I realised that there was a pattern to his bedwetting. One night at 1am, after 5 nights of bedwetting in a row and at a point of exhaustion, I ran to the fridge and looked at the ingredients on every food he ate that week. I googled every ingredient. There it was – Annatto, otherwise known as 160b (also a natural colour) on the label of the vanilla yoghurt I had bought him for a ‘healthy’ breakfast and he had 5 mornings in a row. I found stories on the internet of children who reacted badly to annatto through bedwetting or very young children who would incessantly bang their head after eating it. We threw the yoghurt out.
Annatto is also sometimes referred to as natural flavour, or 160b. As it’s a natural colour derived from the seed of the annatto tree its frequently being used to replace ‘artificial’ colours. Its found in vanilla yoghurts, ice cream, in biscuits, margarine. Beta-carotene (160a) is a safe natural colour alternative.
I then proceeded to embark on a food elimination diet with the assistance of this amazing website Fedup.com.au and discovered that my son also reacted badly to foods high in glutamate. Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce, chicken stock, bone broth, parmesan cheese, any chips or crackers that are flavoured, and anything containing MSG (thankfully we avoid that like the plague already). Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, otherwise known as a behaviour stimulant or an over exciter of neuro transmission. Its always known to be an issue for children with ADHD or Autism but my son doesn’t have either of these conditions and I never knew it could cause bedwetting.
I eliminated all glutamate food sources from my sons diet and he never wet his bed again. until he accidentally had fish sauce when he was away from home. It’s remarkable how It Just Stopped. Then I realised that around age 6 I started encouraging my son to eat the same meals we were eating at night. Lots of stir fries and risotto’s. All full of glutamates.
Please try removing Glutamate and perhaps Annatto from your childs diet if they are still wetting their bed or have started wetting their bed at school age. I wish I’d been told this tip years earlier!
PS “yeast extract” is actually free glutamate and added to many products that claim ‘no added MSG” as it falls within a labeling regulation loophole. Be careful of this one!