Enuresis according to Chinese Medicine

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Enuresis factsheet

In Chinese Medicine, enuresis can be associated with four so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here enuresis can be caused by four different patterns.

To understand whether someone's enuresis might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from enuresis alone. For instance when enuresis is caused by the pattern Heat in Yang brightness Organs, patients also experience symptoms such as severe constipation, flatulence, focal distention and abdominal fullness. Similarly, patients with Heat in Yang brightness Organs typically exhibit full (Shi) pulses as well as a tongue with grey or black coating, yellow coating.

We've listed below a description of the four patterns associated with enuresis so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below five formulas that can help treat the various patterns associated with enuresis, depending on which pattern fits your profile.

The four "patterns of disharmony" associated with enuresis

Rhubarb (Da Huang) is the key herb for Da Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Heat in Yang brightness Organs

Heat in Yang brightness Organs

Pulse type(s): Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Grey or black coating, Yellow coating

Recommended herbal formula: Da Cheng Qi Tang

Symptoms: Flatulence Focal distention Abdominal fullness Severe constipation Tense and firm abdomen Abdominal pain that increases upon pressure

Enuresis might be due to Heat in Yang brightness Organs if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as severe constipation, flatulence, focal distention and abdominal fullness. Similarly, patients with Heat in Yang brightness Organs typically exhibit full (Shi) pulses as well as a tongue with grey or black coating, yellow coating.

Read more about Heat in Yang brightness Organs here

Rhubarb (Da Huang) is the key herb for Da Cheng Qi Tang, a formula used for Yang Excess

Yang Excess

Pulse type(s): Rapid (Shu), Full (Shi)

Tongue coating: Sticky coating, Yellow coating

Tongue color: Red

Recommended herbal formula: Da Cheng Qi Tang

Symptoms: Fever Thirst Red face Irritability Restlnessness Scanty dark urination Yellow vaginal discharge

Yang Excess is a Full Yang state and its symptoms are similar to those are caused by the Heat Pernicious invasion. Yang is associated with Heat, activity and Dryness and these are the general symptoms when patients have Excess Yang. However, they become more specific depending on the Organ involved. For instance, Excess Liver Yang can cause migraines, or Excess Heart Yang can result in manic behavior and extreme restlessness. When there is Excess Yang, the body is in a hyperfunctional state. Over time, the Body Fluids can be "burned off" by the presence of Excessive Yang, resulting in a condition of Yin Deficiency.

Excess Yang is most likely caused by the Heat Pernicious Influence, either External or Internal. It can also be caused by internal damage from the Seven Emotions, the Stagnation of Qi or Blood, over-exposure to hot climates or environments, indigestion, and the over consumption of hot-natured and fried greasy foods, coffee, alcohol and red meat.

Read more about Yang Excess here

The Bladder is a so-called "Fu" Organ. Learn more about the Bladder in Chinese Medicine

Bladder Deficiency with Cold

Pulse type(s): Deep (Chen), Weak (Ruo)

Tongue coating: Thin white coating

Tongue color: Pale

Recommended herbal formula: Sang Piao Xiao San

Symptoms: Dizziness Incontinence Forgetfulness Disorientation Lower back pain Feeling of cold Frequent urination White urethral discharge Urine the color of rice water (grey and cloudy)

Enuresis might be due to Bladder Deficiency with Cold if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as urine the color of rice water (grey and cloudy), disorientation, forgetfulness and incontinence. Similarly, patients with Bladder Deficiency with Cold typically exhibit deep (Chen) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.

Read more about Bladder Deficiency with Cold here

Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm

Pulse type(s): Tight (Jin), Floating (Fu)

Tongue coating: Thick white coating

Tongue shape: Swollen

Recommended herbal formula: Xiao Qing Long Tang

Symptoms: Wheezing No thirst Absence of sweating Generalized body pain Alternating fever and chills General sensation of heaviness Stifling sensation in the chest Coughing of copious thin and white sputum

Enuresis might be due to Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as alternating fever and chills, absence of sweating, wheezing and stifling sensation in the chest. Similarly, patients with Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm typically exhibit tight (Jin) or floating (Fu) pulses as well as a tongue with thick white coating.

Read more about Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm here

The five herbal formulas that might help with enuresis

Da Cheng Qi Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Purges Heat from the Stomach and Intestines. Relieves constipation.

Why might Da Cheng Qi Tang help with enuresis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Heat in Yang brightness Organs and Yang Excess which are sometimes associated with enuresis. If any of these patterns look like something you might suffer from, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Da Cheng Qi Tang here

Sang Piao Xiao San

Source date: 1116 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Regulates and tonifies the Heart and Kidneys. Stabilizes the Essence. Stops leakage.

Why might Sang Piao Xiao San help with enuresis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Bladder Deficiency with Cold, a pattern sometimes associated with enuresis. If it looks like you might suffer from Bladder Deficiency with Cold, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Sang Piao Xiao San here

Xiao Qing Long Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 8 herbs

Key actions: Releases the Exterior. Transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Warms the Lungs. Directs Rebellious Qi downward.

Why might Xiao Qing Long Tang help with enuresis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, a pattern sometimes associated with enuresis. If it looks like you might suffer from Phlegm-Fluids above the diaphragm, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Xiao Qing Long Tang here

Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 7 herbs

Key actions: Rectifies relationship between Yin and Yang. Harmonizes Heart and Kidney. Stabilizes and secures Essence.

Why might Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang help with enuresis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with enuresis. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Gui Zhi Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang here

Si Ni San

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 4 herbs

Key actions: Regulates Liver and Spleen. Eliminates Internal Heat.

Why might Si Ni San help with enuresis?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat , a pattern sometimes associated with enuresis. If it looks like you might suffer from , this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Si Ni San here