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BED-WETTING: It is involuntary urination at night. Children after the age of 3 or 4 years normally possess sufficient control over their urinary sphincters inasmuch as they pass urine only whenever they want. Because of certain reasons, this control does not manifest because of which they continue to pass urine in bed at night. This phenomenon continues in some cases, even up to the age of 15. Both the boys and girls suffer this ailment, but boys outnumber girls in this respect.

Bed-wetters may pass urine at night even more than once. It is often found that the brothers and sisters of the patient used to pass urine involuntarily at night and it is also recorded that the parents in their young age had also the same trouble.

The causative factors of bed-wetting are two, namely, physical and emotional. If there is an infection in the bladder or kidney or an organic defect in the urinary tracts, the child may wet the bed. Sometimes, thread worms play a mischievous role. At night they come out of the anus to lay the eggs outside. While doings so, they cause a certain amount of irritation and as a reflex action the child passes urine. Other intestinal worms are also found to cause this problem. They cause some amount of pain in the stomach and as a reflex action, the child passes urine.

The psychic factors are (i) too early an attempt for bladder training, (ii) emotional immaturity, (iii) shyness, (iv) conflicts between parents, (v) conflict between the child and his parents, (vi) rivalry among brothers and sisters, (vii) insufficient attention from the parents, (viii) sense of insecurity, and (ix) problems of school adjustment. Sometimes the children get nightmares and they are mostly thumb suckers or nail biters.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Bed-wetting: The cause of the disease should first be located and if it is physical' or emotional it should be correctly treated. The child should not be scolded and after 4 o'clock, he should not be given any water to drink even if he feels thirsty. He should have dinner without water or much of fluid. The parents should find out approximately the time of bed-wetting and should wake up the child about 1/2 hour before that and take him to the bathroom. As a practice the child should be asked to urinate before going to bed. When he is awakened from his sleep, he should not be carried to the bathroom by his parents when he is half asleep. He should be made to get up from his bed and visit the bathroom himself for passing the urine. A system of rewards for dry nights often serves as an added incentive and often helps in stopping the bad habit.

In Ayurveda, the child is given medicines to strengthen his nervous system and the urinary tract. Unless there is an organic defect in the urinary tract, these medicines, if used continuously for sufficiently long time, help the child to .get control over his urinary sphincters and thus he stops bed-wetting. The medicine that is commonly used for this purpose is shilajit. To a child of five years, this medicine can be given in a dose of l/4th of a gram twice daily, mixed with milk on empty stomach. For young boys and girls of the age of 15 it can be given in a dose of 1/2 gm. twice daily. It produces a sense of warmth in the body of the patient when taken continuously for a long time. It is, therefore, well-tolerated during winter season and in summer, its dose should be reduced to 50%.

There are many medicines containing shilajit as an important ingredient. The one popularly used for bed-wetting by ayurvedic physicians is Chandra probha vati. Normally tablets of this medicine are available and they weight 0.250 gm. To children of about five years age, half a tablet of this medicine is given in the morning and another half in the evening on empty stomach with half a cup of milk. Children of more than 10 years of age can take one full tablet, twice daily with milk. This medicine is specific for geneto-urinary complaints. It strengthens the geneto-urinary tract and simultaneously strengthens the nervous system.

Diet to taken by Bed-wetting patients: As has already been suggested before, the patient should stop taking water after 4 o'clock in the afternoon and no liquids should be given to him during night meals. Food ingredients which are spicy, which cause constipation and wind formation in the stomach, particularly pulses, are strictly prohibited. The patient should take patola, bitter gourd, pumpkin, gourd, potato, tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, radish, drumsticks and other leafy vegetables.

Other regimens: The patient's bowels should be kept clear so that thread worms do not trouble him at night. This is one of the important causes of bed- wetting. He should be shown affection, and an atmosphere of friendship should be created amongst his brothers and sisters. He should not be made to sleep on rubber bed mattresses. This causes disturbances in his sleep and he is likely to pass urine at night. Parents should take the child for a walk every evening. This helps the child to overcome the defect, both physically and emotionally. He feels secure and thus overcomes the fear complex which is one of the important emotional agents for bed-wetting.