Connection – Food Allergies and Bedwetting

I know there are so many symptoms of food allergies that we often fail to notice, everything from headaches and skin issues to crankiness and attention issues. It’s hard to keep them with them all. Here is another one, though, that I just recently came across – bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis). According to an article on, Caryn Talty discusses her child’s own bedwetting habits in relation to a food allergy.

Her son had episodes of bedwetting until put on a food allergy diet. Talty reports, she put him on a

“gluten-free, corn-free, Feingold diet to help him recover from re-occurring illnesses. Within 24 hours of complete avoidance his nocturnal enuresis ceased. Was this a coincidence, I wondered? Since that time there have been a handful of occasions when my son has inadvertently eaten wheat or corn. He always wets the bed that same night, and then resumes normal sleeping and cessation of bed wetting when he resumes a gluten-free corn-free diet.”

I searched the web for more information and came upon dozens of blogs and questions from parents about bedwetting and allergies. It sounds like often there is a connection; the trouble is finding the food that is the culprit. Apparently, it’s not always the big names in allergies like milk or soy.

In Talty’s article, she shares a doctor’s report by Dr. Douglas N.Tietjen, M.D., and Douglas A.Husmann, M.D. from the Department of Urology at the Mayo Clinic, stating that

“in a small minority of patients, nocturnal enuresis may be linked to dietary allergies that provoke bladder instability.”

Upon further reading of the article however, on the connection doesn’t seem to be so well founded. Because of the extremely small number of patients who have documented food-provoked enuresis, we believe that this cause is rare. We do not recommend a trial regimen of a food-restrictive diet unless the patient has other behavioral (ADHD) or medical (migraines) problems that are known to be provoked by dietary allergies.

So though it may be true there is a connection, this study has found it to be quite rare that food allergies alone is the cause of most bedwetting.

But again, if your child falls into that small number, it may be worth at least looking into. If nothing else, this tells us that there are definitely a lot more symptoms to food allergies than the hives and anaphylaxis we are most aware of. Diet affects a great amount of what the body does.

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