Enuresis is usually called urinary incontinence during sleep — night and day. This unpleasant disease is diagnosed in children and adults at any age, but adolescents under 15 (up to 3%) and the elderly are especially susceptible to it.
Urologists claim that nocturnal enuresis (NE) is curable in many cases, the main thing is to find the cause of the pathology. Therefore, do not hide the problem from doctors — make an appointment with a urologist and undergo an examination.
Why people pee: the brain argues with the kidneys
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The causes of urinary incontinence are well known: enuresis is caused by pathologies of the central nervous system, inconsistency of the bladder and brain, nocturnal polyuria (increased urine formation) associated with hormonal abnormalities, and kidney disease.
Hormonal causes of enuresis have not been considered before, but now it is known that hormone imbalance is the cause of almost half of the cases of the disease. Moreover, the failure can occur at any level — in the pituitary gland, thyroid gland or respiratory organs.
Thus, apnea (respiratory arrest with adenoids, snoring, obstructive bronchitis, etc.) leads to insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain (hypoxia), which in turn leads to a lack of production of vasopressin (ADH) — the hormone responsible for the proper functioning of the kidneys.
The less ADH is released, the more urine is formed: some patients may accumulate up to 20 liters per night! This amount is not able to hold any bladder.
In addition, the lack of some sex hormones leads to a weakening of the internal muscles, in other words, to their aging. The organs sag, press on the bladder, reducing its volume. This phenomenon is often observed in women in menopause. It was found that women suffering from enuresis are three times more than men.
Scientists claim that most patients with enuresis have genetic prerequisites for this. A gene responsible for the development of NE has been discovered. Another reason for the occurrence of enuresis is sleep disorders, when the patient sleeps “like dead” and does not feel the urge.
Enuresis, incontinence or just peed?
The peculiarity of nocturnal enuresis is complete urinary incontinence. It can be episodic, for example, once a week, or stable, i.e. it happens every day. Sometimes the patient can write only at night, and sleep during the day without problems. In any case, wet sheets are not normal if the patient is over 5 years old.
Bedwetting can be primary when the pathology has persisted since childhood, and secondary if the disease started later.
Why it is necessary to treat nocturnal enuresis
There is not a single person who would like to sleep in diapers or wake up in a puddle of urine. The constant smell, wet underwear and judgmental glances of even the closest people are the eternal companions of people with NE.
Patients with nocturnal enuresis cannot live a normal life: trips are excluded for them, and they have to sleep alone. This is depressing, an inferiority complex develops, the psyche is destroyed.
As for health, enuresis is often just a symptom of a disease that requires mandatory treatment, especially when it comes to kidneys or hormonal imbalance.
How to treat nocturnal enuresis
There is no magic pill that could be prescribed to every patient with NE, because the method of treatment depends entirely on the cause of the pathology. The doctor first sends for tests (urine, blood) and diagnostics — ultrasound of the bladder and kidneys, X-rays. Then, having received the results, he draws conclusions. Sometimes the data obtained is not enough, then you will have to undergo additional research.
Treatment of enuresis can be conservative and operative. If the cause can be eliminated without surgery, then enuresis is treated with medications and psychotherapy, otherwise the intervention of a surgeon is required. The help of a psychotherapist is often required even after healing: many patients have difficulty getting used to life “without diapers”.
Drug treatment may include various medications: hormonal problems are eliminated by hormone therapy, infections are usually treated with antibiotics. There are drugs that reduce urine production at night and restore the sensitivity of the nerves of the bladder.
As for operations, now there are many methods that correct pathologies of the urinary system, including low-traumatic ones. Such interventions are carried out through punctures in the abdominal cavity or natural access (urethra), so after them everything heals quickly and is forgotten.
Are there pills for enuresis?
Urologists are often asked what medications should be taken for nocturnal enuresis in adults. You can answer this question only by knowing exactly the cause of the disease:
A drug containing antidiuretic hormone and reducing nocturnal urine production may be prescribed.
With neurotic enuresis, sedatives and mild antidepressants are prescribed.
There is a method that involves taking combined medications containing ephedrine. These potent medications are available by prescription.
But it will not work to cure enuresis with dietary supplements, since they do not contain real medicines.
Do not self-medicate, wasting time. Enuresis should be treated by a urologist, following all the doctor’s recommendations.