Infrequent, hard, pebblelike stools
Sometimes abdominal discomfort
In children who consume a constipating diet (for example, excessive milk and dairy products and few fruits and vegetables)
Usually doctor's examination alone
Sometimes an x-ray of the abdomen
Recording the timing, frequency, and volume of stool in a journal (stooling diary)
No daytime incontinence
More common among boys and heavy sleepers
Possibly family members who had wet the bed
A doctor's examination alone
Increased urine output, which can have many causes, such as
Vary by the disorder
For diabetes mellitus, urine tests for glucose (sugar) and ketones and/or a blood test‡
For diabetes insipidus or sickle cell disease, blood tests
Sometimes in children who snore and have pauses in breathing during sleep followed by loud snorts
Excessive daytime sleepiness
A sleep study test
Spinal defects (for example, spina bifida Neural Tube Defects and Spina Bifida Neural tube defects are a certain type of birth defect of the brain, spine, and/or spinal cord. Neural tube defects can result in nerve damage, learning disabilities, paralysis, and death. The... read more ), leading to difficulty emptying the bladder (urinary retention)
Obvious spinal defects, a dimple or hair tuft in the lower back, and weakness or decreased sensation in the legs and feet
X-rays of the lower back
Sometimes MRI of the spine
School problems, social isolation or problems, and family stress (such as divorce Divorce and Children Separation and divorce, and the events leading up to them, interrupt the stability and predictability that children need. Other than the death of an immediate family member, divorce is the most... read more or separation of the parents)
A doctor’s examination alone
Recording the timing, frequency, and volume of urine in a journal (voiding diary)
Pain while urinating, blood in the urine, the need to urinate frequently, and a sense of needing to urinate urgently
Urinalysis and urine culture
If urine culture and urinalysis results are positive and especially if kidney infection, possible ultrasonography and voiding cystourethrogram (x-rays taken before, during, and after urination)
* Features include symptoms and the results of the doctor's examination. Features mentioned are typical but not always present.
† Although a doctor's examination is always done, it is mentioned in this column only if the diagnosis can sometimes be made by the doctor's examination alone, without any testing.
‡ Diabetes does not typically cause incontinence until blood sugar (glucose) levels are high enough to cause glucose to enter the urine.
§ Stress is a cause primarily when incontinence is sudden.
MRI = magnetic resonance imaging.