Urinary incontinence is a common condition with aging, especially among women who have had children. Common actions such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing can lead to embarrassing involuntary losses of urine with incontinence. There are several underlying causes of incontinence according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
Qi Deficiency and Urinary Incontinence
In TCM the Kidneys "govern water", and are in charge of the metabolism of urination. Kidney Qi helps to hold the urine in the Bladder; therefore, Kidney Qi Deficiency could be the root cause of an urinary incontinence or an overactive bladder. With Spleen Qi Deficiency, symptoms could include:
For indications of Qi Deficiency consider Sea of Qi formula.
Kidney Yin Deficiency and Urinary Incontinence
Bladder function and the Chinese medical Yin-Yang theory can also point to certain patterns of imbalance. The bladder’s ability to hold urine is a Yin function. With Kidney Yin Deficiency, the bladder will not be able to hold the urine with symptoms such as:
Kidney Yang Deficiency and Urinary Incontinence
Yang Deficiency would be common with urinary problems associated with prostate issues, but is also seen in women. Urinary incontinence associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency would include symptoms such as:
For indications of Kidney Yang Deficiency, consider Ancestor Treasure formula, possibly combined with Yin Valley formula, and be sure to read our Yin-Yang Theory article.
Liver Imbalances and Urinary Incontinence
In TCM, the Liver energetic organ system "governs the muscles and sinews" ; this means that the general function and health of the muscles are affected by Liver imbalances. Since muscles are involved with the ability to hold urine, an imbalance of the Liver can contribute to urinary incontinence or overactive bladder. Other signs of the Livers' involvement are indicated when the condition is worsened stressful situations or are accompanied by frustration or anger.
With Liver imbalances, consider Free and Easy Wanderer formula.
You may notice incontinence occurring during asthma attacks or during coughing attacks with this pattern. For Lung Imbalances, consider White Tiger Return formula.
The most common type of incontinence among women is stress incontinence with symptoms of involuntarily leaking urine while exercising, coughing, sneezing, laughing or lifting with the sudden pressure to the bladder causes urine to leak. While weaknesses due to childbirth to muscles that hold the bladder in place is the most common cause, a weakening of the bladder itself can also occur. Other causes of stress incontinence include: