One of the most distressing conditions at any age is incontinence. Involuntary leakage of urine is embarrassing and directly affects quality of life. A urologist should always investigate this problem to uncover any underlying medical conditions that might be treatable. Beware of some prescription drugs that are promoted for this problem or for “over active bladder,” as they may cause disorientation, drowsiness, or even hallucinations.
I was diagnosed with an overactive bladder six months ago. The urologist prescribed VESIcare and handed me a pamphlet on the main offenders that cause the symptoms. After reading the pamphlet, I eliminated caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol from my diet. Voila, I make no more nightly visits to the bathroom. As an added benefit, I no longer need any medication for reflux. Sometimes giving up something that is harmful to health is better and less expensive than taking medicine.
Not everyone will get as much benefit from the kinds of changes you made, but this is a low-risk approach. Chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol all have been implicated as possible culprits in triggering reflux as well.
I am 29 years old and engaged to be married this summer. I am very excited, but as we make plans for our honeymoon, I am starting to get worried as well. And I’m too embarrassed about this problem to know where to turn for help. I am in good health, but sometimes when I cough or sneeze, I can’t hold my urine in. This is bad enough, but every so often at night I dream that I am looking for a restroom, and when I wake up the bed is wet. I would be mortified if this happened on my honeymoon. Isn’t there some medication children take to keep them from wetting the bed? Would it work for me too?
Make an appointment with a physician for proper diagnosis. Bladder training and special exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles (Kegels) can be very helpful for your case of stress incontinence. Some doctors may also prescribe estrogen or oral decongestants to tighten the sphincter. To keep from wetting the bed at night, avoid caffeine during the day and reduce fluid intake a few hours before bedtime. If this doesn’t help, the urologist may consider prescribing desmopressin (DDAVP), a nasal spray more often used for children. This medication dramatically reduces urine formation and the chance of an accident.
I have a urinary drip that used to require wearing heavy pads. My doctor prescribed Oxytrol and then Detrol. Both medicines made my eyes, mouth, and throat unbearably dry. I started taking stinging nettle for allergies and postnasal drip. I found it very helpful. In addition, I no longer need to wear pads, only panty liners, because it helped my urinary problem too.
The herb stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) has been used in Europe to relieve allergy symptoms and improve urinary flow in cases of benign prostate enlargement. We are pleased it helped you. Some people may be allergic to nettles. If a rash develops, you should discontinue the herb. Stinging nettle should not be used during pregnancy. New research suggests that drugs like Detrol, Ditropan, and Oxytrol, which dry out mucous membranes, may also impair mental function.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic