see also Incontinence of Urine
Not an inevitable part of ageing. In most cases loss of control is secondary to treatable disorders such as urinary tract infections (see Cystitis), Constipation (hard-packed faecal matter in bowel pressing on bladder), an enlarged prostate gland (see Prostate Problems), and pruritis vulvae (see Vaginal and Vulval Problems) (itchy vulva), or brought on by drugs or prolonged immobility. Loss of bladder or bowel control after a Stroke or Spinal Cord Injury can occur at any age; provided damage to brain or spinal cord is not too severe, disability may only be temporary. Stress Incontinence (momentary loss of control when laughing, coughing, sneezing, lifting, etc. due to weakness of pelvic floor muscles) is primarily a female problem, more typical of the young and middle-aged than of the elderly.
Incontinence is characteristic of later stages of Senile Dementia; cause is self-neglect and general loss of inhibition rather than any physical disability.
If incontinence cannot be controlled by drugs, medical doctor may advise catheterization (urine continuously drains into a bag through a small tube inserted into bladder); for advice on special underwear, consult your medical doctor or health visitor.
If incontinence is caused by infection, select a remedy from those listed under Cystitis or prostatitis; (see Prostate Problems; otherwise, choose a remedy from the list below. If there is no improvement within 3 days, see your medical doctor.
Specific remedies to be given 4 times daily for up to 3 days
- Weak, trembly legs, drooping eyelids Gelsemium 30c
- Incontinence made worse by coughing or laughing Causticum 30c
- Inability to control bladder, with pain in neck of bladder, frequent urge to urinate, urination relieves pain Ferrum phos. 30c
- Involuntary dribbles of urine, person very irritable Nux 30c
Self-help: To minimize amount of urine in bladder at any one time, and to improve bladder control, pass urine at regular, frequent intervals - use a digital watch with a bleeper to remind yourself. Drink sparingly before bedtime, and keep a chamber-pot or commode in the bedroom for emergencies.