People suffer setback in the functions of the waste dispensing organs – bowels, skin, lungs and kidney – at some time or the other during their lifetime. With lungs, the symptoms like breathlessness, running nose, etc., are immediately visible because it interferes with the function of the most important respiratory system. With bowels, the main digestive system gets disrupted and the pleasure of eating is destroyed. With the skin, the appearance and beauty get spoiled. All these force us to take prompt action to set right these organs. But we seem to attach very little or no importance to the major waste dispenser, the kidney. This is due to our ignorance about the significant role of this organ.
If this organ suffers a setback, almost all other vital organs, like liver, lungs, heart and even brain are affected. Additional load is thrust upon other eliminative organs too.
Kidney and its functions
Kidneys are two in number, located on either side of the lower spine. The blood passes through the kidneys continuously. The kidneys purify and filter the blood. They separate the toxic waste from the blood and pass it as urine and return the purified blood to the circulatory system. Kidneys control the water balance too. They produce nearly two litres of urine per day.
The innumerable functions of the kidneys include encouraging formation of red blood cells and preventing red cells and blood protein from getting past the filters.
Emotions decide the quantity of urine
On different occasions, kidneys produce either excess or reduced quantity of urine. Emotional upsets like anger, for example, increases the supply of the blood and the output of urine increases. When we are chilled, the blood supply to the skin is decreased. On such occasions the flow of blood to the internal organs increases, to preserve internal heat. With more blood more urine is produced. That is why in cold and damp weather frequency in urination is experienced.
Opposite reaction in smokers and drunkards
Smokers pass less quantity of urine an drunkards do so more frequently.
The reason for the two extremes is as follows:
The pituitary gland under the brain produces a hormone to prevent excess urine production. The production of this useful hormone gets retarded due to the effect of alcoholic drinks, coffee and tea, resulting in excess urination. In drunkards, sometimes even dehydration occurs. But in heavy smokers it is the reverse. The nicotine present in the cigarettes boosts up the production of the pituitary hormone and hence smokers suffer from scanty urine.
Excess urine is also the symptom of diabetes.
Apart from excess and scanty urine, retention, incontinence, frequent urination and bed-wetting are some other irregularities of the urinary system.
In some persons muscles contract painfully in extreme cold and urine is passed in drops. The pain is due to the retained urine distending the bladder.
Incontinence and dribbling is another troublesome problem which is caused due to spinal injury or infection in the bladder. It also occurs in some females it there is laceration or sustained injury during childbirth.
Bed-wetting is the symptom of some underlying disorder. Under normal circumstances a child is expected to stop wetting the bed at around two to three years of age. Various causes can be attributed for the phenomenon thereafter.
There are children who still wet their beds when they are four or five. Yet some continue even beyond seven years and go on up to fifteen. There are cases where some underlying cause exists and children fail to gain bladder control till even later.
However, the most common cause, in the absence of any abnormalities, is sound sleep especially in those who play and remain active during the day.
In some children hindrance to bladder control consists of folds or stricture in the line of the urethra. In older children, emotional and psychological disturbance, like anxiety and insecurity, play a vital role. Such children cannot be helped by scolding or showing derision but by encouragement and guidance to follow a healthy programme to gain control over the bladder. Sometimes correcting of the defective organ may be necessary.
Enlarged prostate gland
Frequent urination in some elderly persons and those who have stepped in their old age is the result of infection in the kidney, urethra or bladder, and enlargement of the prostate gland.
When prostate gland gets enlarged, it presses on the urethra and decreases the size of the opening. It forms a sort of dam where a part of the urine is withheld. The symptom that follows the enlargement of the prostate gland is frequent urination with small and slow stream which takes a long time to empty the bladder.
Many old people with enlarged prostate gland will not have any problem other than a tendency to urinate frequently and for a long duration. In others, where the emptying of the distended bladder is ineffectual, the retention of the residual urine will cause severe infections. In such a case it has to be removed by a Catheter or tube.
How kidney stones are formed?
Stones in the kidney are formed due to infection in the kidney. The obstruction in the passage of urine to the bladder causes stagnation. This obstruction in turn is caused by the back pressure due to some other obstruction in the outlet of the bladder.
Diets that are improperly balanced and certain vitamin deficiencies encourage the precipitation of the chemical salts in the urine, promoting the concentration of urine to from stones.
Consumption of highly seasoned and acidic food coupled with inadequate intake of water also cause the formation of stones. Excessive consumption of milk and milk based sweets can also cause stones. People who suffer from gout have the tendency to kidney stones.
There are several other causes for kidney stones but the most common cause is ignoring the symptoms and irregularities in the urinary system and leading a sedentary life combined with rich food.
The symptoms include desire to void often, increased frequency in voiding, discharge of urine mingled with pus and blood, pain in the back etc. The pain starts in the abdomen and radiates towards the bladder. Fever associated with chills and shivers are experienced.
A thoroughly restricted diet and plenty of fluid intake with other simple home treatment bring complete cure in cases not much complicated.
Treatment for bed-wetting
A carefully planned programme involving the child’s cooperation to overcome the problem of bedwetting is necessary. The aim should be towards increasing the bladder capacity. The same children who seem to have to control over their bladder during night are quite capable of controlling for longer duration during day when they are immersed in play or other activities. Therefore, it pays to teach the child to hold back whenever there is the urge to void during the day. This is to allow the bladder to stretch to accommodate a larger volume of urine. This stretching stimulates the growth and strengthens the bladder. This can be used as a game. Explain to the child the benefit to the exercise and give a reward every time he or she succeeds.
In some children, the above programme of treatment may start giving results within a month or two. But for others it may even take from four to six months. It is worth the effort and patience on the part of the child and parents.
Keep the bed dry with the little finger
A practical method that can effectively control and cure bed wetting in even grown up children is to give hand pressure in two spots on the back of the little finger in both the hands and a spot in the palm. Place the thumb on the spot in the palm as in fig.13 and all the four fingers on the back side of the hand. Give hard pressure as much as the child can tolerate as if pumping, 20 times first on the right palm and next on the left. Do this twice daily, once in the afternoon when the stomach is not full and once at bed time for at least two to three months. Older children can do this by themselves.
Pressure treatment for bed-wetting has very good effect even in those children who are mentally disabled.
If the children are below six years of age, yoga exercises are not recommended. Outdoor games are the best. The games that interest the child will help a lot because when he is engrossed in the game, controlling the urge to void will be natural.
Older children can be taught the following yoga exercises and encouraged to join a yoga institute and learn all the exercises.
Dhanurasana, Parvatasana, Paschimottanasana, Yogamudra, and Matsyasana.
Nos. 1 and 2. (See page 189)
Give a spoonful of honey to be licked at bedtime regularly for a month.
- Powder one tablespoon black sea same seeds (til) and one tea-spoon aniseeds. Add two tablespoons of jaggery and mix thoroughly. Roll into balls and give one such ball twice daily. This strengthens the bladder.
- Give one or two walnuts (akhrot) and few raisins (kishmish) regularly once a day. This will give strength to the bladder to hold urine for longer periods.
Hydrotherapy for kidney and bladder problems
Sitz bath alternating with hot and cold water once in a day for at least two months. This holds good for kidney stones too.
Alternating hot and cold spray on the genitals.
For retention of urine – Hot hip and sitz bath.
For incontinence of urine – Hot and cold alternate hip and sitz bath.
For enlarged prostate gland – cold hip an sitz baths.
Dhanurasana, Pavanamuktasana, Bhujangasana, Matsyasana and Paschimottanasana.
Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6. (See page 189 & 190)
Household remedies for retention of urine with burning
- Take a pinch of cardamom powder with some milk.
- Eat a plateful finely sliced radish, chewing thoroughly and slowly for 5 to 10 full minutes. Or, sip a cup of radish juice for five full minutes.
- Fresh coconut water is effective in overcoming the difficulty of retention of urine.
- Soak two tablespoons of coriander seeds in a cup of water at night. Next morning crush the seeds and filter the water, add a pinch of sugar (candy sugar is preferable) and take it.
- Mix equal quantities of aniseeds and sesame seeds powder. Take a pinch of this powder three times in a day for fifteen days.
- Roast a fistful of whole bengalgram (chana) and eat with some jaggery as breakfast for some days.
For kidney stones
- Watermelon and juice of watermelon should be taken for 15 days for kidney stones.
- Chew two cardamoms thrice a day after meals. Take half a glass of radish juice daily for 15 days in the morning.
- Make a paste out of three walnuts and ten raisins with a little milk. It should be of thick consistency. Take this paste very regularly at bedtime for over a month.
- Sprinkle Indian gooseberry (anwla) powder in the slices of two radishes and take during breakfast daily for 14 to 15 days.
- Take two glasses of coconut water twice daily for a month.
- Pieces of sugarcane chewed frequently help kidney stones to melt.
- Barley prevents stone formation in addition to expelling stones. Barley water and bread (rotis) prepared out of barley must be taken regularly for at least a month.
- Soak a cup of horse gram (kulthi) in water overnight. Drink the water next morning. Take this for one month.
For retention of urine
Two tablespoons of onion juice mixed with one teaspoon honey to be taken thrice a day.
Dry massage on the low back twice a day for all urinary disorders see Chapter 27.