Acupuncture Treatment for Childhood Bed-Wetting (Nocturnal Enuresis) in Bermuda

Bed-wetting, also called nocturnal enuresis, occurs when a child has not yet developed bladder control while sleeping or when the bladder has not grown large enough to hold a night’s urine accumulation. Bed-wetting is more common with boys than girls and in children with hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorders. However, it can be a normal part of development for children under the age of 7. If your child continues to wet the bed after this age, consult with your physician. This is also the case if other symptoms are present such as increased thirst or a change in the colour of urine.

Frequently, parents will use a moisture alarm in an attempt to minimize childhood bed-wetting. When urination begins, the device will make a sound early enough for the parents to take the child to the toilet. There are also anti-cholinergic medications that help the bladder hold more urine and reduce bladder contractions. Another drug, desmopressin, causes the body to produce less urine.

Alternative Treatments for Enuresis

Studies indicate that acupuncture treatments are at least as effective as allopathic interventions for treating Enuresis. Given this, the unpleasant side effects of medications can be avoided by opting for alternative treatments. Additionally, unlike moisture alarms, holistic treatments will not disturb your child’s sleep. Certainly, it is not pleasant for the child or the parents to be frequently awakened.

According to a 2010 literature review, published in Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, acupuncture is more effective for managing bed-wetting than moisture alarms. The authors concluded that acupuncture was more efficacious when applied in conjunction with other holistic modalities, and electro-acupuncture achieved even more successful results.

Diagnostic Patterns

There are several diagnostic patterns associated with enuresis. A spleen qi deficiency is common. Other possible patterns include bladder damp heat and kidney yin deficiency. An acupuncturist may stimulate point San Yin Jiao, which is point 6 on the spleen meridian. Treatment may also be applied at point Pang Guang Shu on the urinary bladder meridian to treat bladder damp heat. The holistic practitioner may recommend your child avoid certain foods. He or she may also suggest the consumption of specific foods and herbs that will relieve damp heat.

Keep in mind that it is likely your child will outgrow bed-wetting. However, if the enuresis causes significant embarrassment and anxiety for the child, or if he or she has developed rashes from continually sleeping on urine-soaked sheets and wearing wet pyjamas, acupuncture can be an effective treatment to eliminate, or reduce the frequency of, night-time bed-wetting.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cann concerning bed-wetting, please call COHA Health at 1.441.295.7612.

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