Medical Q&As

Bed-wetting - in a 27-year-old?

My brother, who is 27, still wets the bed. He spoke to his family doctor two years ago who said he would grow out of it. At 27?? He is too shy and embarrassed to do something about this himself and I think it affects his confidence a lot. He has private health insurance, and I would like to try helping him do something about it at this stage. What would you recommend as I would prefer not to go near local doctors? What is a good hospital in Dublin?

The route to solving your brotherís difficulty starts with a general medical assessment. There are several different reasons why he continues to wet the bed and it is important that he be channelled in the right direction. Several questions immediately arise in my mind. Did he always wet the bed and has he never been dry? Does he have continence problems during the day? Does he have other symptoms, which might suggest that his bed-wetting is a symptom of another problem? You raise the issue of self-esteem when you say that his confidence is affected. Maybe this problem is partly psychological in origin. There are so many basic questions to be answered. I could suggest that he see a surgeon who specialises in conditions affecting the bladder and kidneys but maybe he needs to see a general physician because his bed-wetting is symptomatic of a medical disorder. Alternatively he may need to see a psychologist. If the route to solving his problem begins with the wrong type of specialist then much valuable time is lost trying to re-route him back onto a more appropriate track. This journey should begin with a general assessment of your brother bearing in mind the broad range of possible causes for his problem.