Rare cases of secondary nocturnal enuresis (occurs when the child has been consistently dry at night for more than six months and then starts wetting the bed again) can be a symptom of type 1 or juvenile diabetes.

What causes bedwetting?

If your child is going through a bedwetting phase, you're probably wondering what's causing it. The short answer is that it's usually down to a minor developmental delay, which will straighten itself out over time. It's quite rare for bedwetting to be caused by an underlying medical condition. The most common form of bedwetting is called primary nocturnal enuresis. This refers to when a child has never been dry at night. Common causes are things like genetics, a neurological development delay between the bladder and brain, or the underproduction of the antidiuretic hormone ADH that signals to the kidneys to produce less urine at night. The other type of bedwetting is secondary nocturnal enuresis. This refers to a child who has been dry for six months or more, and then starts to wet the bed. This is typical the result of underlying medical issues or by emotional factors. For children with primary nocturnal enuresis, it means your child's bladder capacity has not developed to the point of being able to hold urine overnight. Children who wet the bed at night may have a nervous system that is slow to process the feeling of a full bladder. So your child does not wake up or respond to the messages sent from their bladder to their brain saying its full and needs emptying. As their body matures the messages sent from the bladder start to get through and your child learns to wake and go to the toilet. Most children who experience bedwetting haven't reached this developmental stage yet. But don't worry, they'll get there soon. While deep sleeping certainly plays a role in bedwetting it is not the primary cause of why it happens in the first place. Deep sleeping just makes it even harder for children to response to the signal sent from their bladder telling them to 'wake-up'. Secondary nocturnal enuresis is a little more complex. If your child has been dry at night for six months and they relapse back to bedwetting, it's often a sign of emotional problems or stress. Common catalysts include big events, such as moving house, a new sibling, or starting school. Stressful situations, including tension in the home, death of a family member or pet, or being bullied at school can also cause your child to start wetting the bed again. Other causes of secondary bedwetting include minor medical conditions, such as constipation or a urinary tract infection. In very rare cases, bedwetting can be caused by diabetes. One thing to remember through all of this is that the cause is never laziness. It's important to remain calm and not to take out any frustration on your child, even though it can be a real pain to change sheets every night. Provide some extra support to your child by using DryNites® Night Time Pants or BedMats. It gives them a little more independence and they're an effective safety net at night.

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Type 1 diabetes, also referred to as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a condition in which the pancreas cannot produce enough of the hormone insulin. One of insulin’s key roles in the body is to direct glucose in the bloodstream to the cells, where it is then used for energy. Without insulin, the body is unable to metabolise glucose. This means that it can’t process sugar properly or use it as energy to perform its usual functions. Insufficient insulin results in a high amount of glucose in the blood.



Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The exact reason why this happens is still unknown.


If you notice a combination of the following symptoms in your child, they may have developed type 1 diabetes. If you suspect that this is the case, they will need to see a doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis.

  • Frequent urination
  • Night time incontinence or bedwetting
  • High levels of thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Blurred vision



Diagnosis of type 1 diabetes can initially be quite upsetting for families. However, if the condition is managed properly, your child can still live a relatively normal life and avoid the major health complications associated with it.



It’s important for diabetes sufferers to maintain a healthy diet and to eat at regular intervals. Foods known to cause a spike in blood sugar levels should be avoided. These include:

  • White flour, white rice, white bread
  • Foods high in sugar
  • Cereals that aren’t whole grain
  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Deep fried foods and snacks
  • Sugary drinks

If your child is diagnosed with diabetes, you should consult your doctor or a specialist and for a specific diet plan. Things will get easier as time goes on, but in the early days you will need all the details at hand and a strict guide to follow. The internet can be a useful resource for information and tips, but entrust your child’s diet to an expert.


Regular exercise is necessary for controlling blood sugar levels. Encourage your child to be physically active and even try out various team or non-team sports to find something that they enjoy doing long-term.



Blood sugar levels should be monitored a few times a day to determine how much insulin will be needed.



Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections. Unfortunately, sufferers will need to inject insulin for the rest of their lives, as there is currently no cure available.

Keep in mind that once diabetes sufferers get the hang of it, managing insulin injections gets a lot easier and they’ll simply become a normal part of life.

DryNites® Night Time Pants

DryNites® Night Time Pants are a discreet, comfortable and absorbent form of bedtime protection.

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DryNites® Night Time Pants help kids stay dry. Request a free DryNites® Night Time Pants sample today.