Common Concern: Urinary Incontinence

 Biomedical View

The biomedical definition of Urinary Incontinence [UI] can be viewed as any involuntary leakage of urine or loss of Urinary Bladder [UB] control. This leakage or loss of control can occur at any time but especially with movement, cough, sneeze, laughter, exercise while driving… This can also include during sleep or not being able to hold while walking to the bathroom.

Biomedical help for this common health problem is many. They include:

  • Urinary Bladder muscle training
  • timing training
  • fluid intake control
  • diaper
  • Medications to calm or even dry the Urinary Bladder

A common medication prescribed for UI works as an antispasmodic with side effects including:

  • dry mouth
  • blurred vision
  • dry eyes, nose, or skin
  • stomach pain
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • heartburn

(Many of these problems can also be associated with Kidney Yin Deficiency, the main pattern of discussion below.)

Traditional Chinese Medicine View

 Any regular bodily function that deteriorates overtime is always linked to a root organ dysfunction. The overflow of fluids, especially with the Urinary Bladder, as viewed by TCM, is often caused by Yin (fluid) and Yang (metabolic) problems associated with the Kidney Organ System.

The Yin in TCM is many things, but what it is most is your bodies’ fluids. Not only is the Yin responsible for the quality of your many fluids, but also for the proper regulation of fluids. Many Yin problems first show as a loss of fluid control before the typical manifestation of chronic internal dryness ever presents itself.

In this stage, the Yin can lose its ability to constrain or consolidate (control the fluids), causing a variety of problems, from excessive sweating (especially of the feet, palms, and chest), excessive tearing of the eyes, excessive nasal mucus, vaginal discharge, seminal emissions, and urinary incontinence.

If you are experiencing Urinary Incontinence, a common Chinese Medicine Pattern is appropriately titled Kidney Yin Deficiency, and an associated Kidney Yin Tonic to replenish Kidney Yin, may be of interest to you.

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