This is the first one from the new upcoming series of articles, focused on the most important homeopathic remedies for retention of urine. The present article starts with the cases where the passing of urine is obstructed by mechanical injuries, spasmodic disorders and paralysis of the bladder.
Retention of Urine | Description
The retention of urine is a condition in which the secreted urine in the kidneys cannot be passed out. It is a dangerous condition because if the urine passage cannot be reinstated, there might be serious consequences for the kidneys, the heart and the lungs.
Stoppage of urine may arise as a consequence from some urinary disorders caused by mechanical injury, inflammation of the kidneys, kidney stones, stricture of urine passages, inflammation of the bladder or of the urethra, paralysis of the bladder, enlargement of the prostate gland etc. The urine comes out in drops or doesn’t come out at all; there is violent burning pain in the urethra, swelling and heaviness of the bladder, frequent but ineffectual urging for urination, febrile symptoms. There may be present accompanying complaints from other organs and systems in the body, like headache, nausea, retching, vomiting, colic pains in the abdomen, distention of the abdomen, kidney colic and others.
Homeopathy is highly effective in this disorder. There are certain remedies which give immediate relief and prevent conventional medical intervention with chemical medication, putting of a catheter or a surgery. The successful prescription of appropriate remedy is preconditioned by careful examination of the cause for the retention, as well as of the personal sensations and complaints of the particular individual, together with the general constitutional and bodily characteristics, and the reactions of patient’s mind and emotions.
The prominent remedies in this condition are exposed further, with relation to the most frequent possible causes for the retention, as well to the particular symptoms of the patient.
Mechanical Injuries | Trauma
Arnica is the first remedy in almost all traumatic cases. It is called by J.H. Clarke ‘the traumatic par excellence’.
The retention of urine may be caused by fall from a height during some sport like riding a bicycle, climbing, etc.; or mechanical injury to bladder may be caused by catheter putting or changing; after surgical interventions, after hard labor. Arnica is also indicated when during travelling on a long distances the urination has been prevented by some cause like lack of toilet, shyness or squeamishness.
The specific symptoms of this remedy include tenesmus of the bladder with ineffectual urging to urinate, stitches in the urethra, while not urinating, more frequent desire to urinate than usual. The bladder feels heavy and overfilled.
The stoppage of micturition may not be full; there might be emission of a smaller quantity of yellow-red urine, passing out on little drops. Or the urine is flowing slowly, as if the urethra was constricted. The color of urine is deep, strong, dark yellow or turbid; it may be frothy or dark brown, and often contains sediment.
One has to wait quite a while for the urine to start passing. The efforts to make urine start often occur to be entirely ineffectual; and then, while walking or running, or at night in bed, the urine starts dripping involuntary.
Arnica has certain peculiar mental and emotional features. All of them may not be present but the independent state of the patient will be. In the state of Arnica, the individual will say to you that is very well, while even from a distance you’ll be able to contradict with certainty. He or she will tell no doctor is needed, will send the already present doctor (or homeopath) away, and will not allow anyone to touch them.
Paralysis of the Bladder & Spasmodic Affections
Opium is a remedy mostly adapted to children and old age people. The most marked feature of Opium is the lack of sensibility to external stimulus. The remedy is generally indicated when we face lack of susceptibility to well chosen homeopathic remedies because of a weak bodily reaction. Marking the words of Hahnemann, “It is more difficult to estimate the action of Opium than of almost any other drug”; especially because Opium has abnormal painlessness is a grand keynote but also has many horrible acute pains, attended with screaming.
The bladder becomes distended but has no power to expel urine, or the urine is discharged by great difficulty. Small quantity of urine is passed at a time, with pain, accompanied by a sensation of bearing down.
There are spasms on urinating, acute constriction of the urethra as far as the bladder; the spasmodic constriction of the urethra gradually disappears after successful urination. The patient complains of pain, as if there is need to urinate; but is unable to actually doing this.
The desire to urinate is present, the urging is frequent, but the discharge is very difficult, very scanty, especially on waking from a short sleep. The bladder is full, there are cramps; when urine starts to flow, the stream is often and involuntary interrupted.
There are burning and cutting pains at the neck of the bladder, cutting pains along ureters and urethra, tenesmus; the actual urination is possible only after long straining.
While the urine is retained, the mouth is felt dry and the thirst is increased. The condition is often accompanied by heavy habitual constipation, continuing days and even weeks.
The urine has strong odor, brown color, covered with an iridescent film; or is turbid, mixed with mucous; very dark, depositing a sediment like a brick dust; very scanty, very red, with clouds, bloody urine.
Cantharis is made from the so-called Spanish fly. As E.A. Farrington writes in his ‘Clinical Materia Medica’, “… experience has demonstrated that nearly always when it is indicated cystic or renal symptoms are present.”
Cantharis is characterized by over-sensitiveness of all parts. It is a prominent remedy for urinary disorders, attended with violent burning, extreme weakness, constant urging to urinate, passing but a few drops mixed with blood at a time; great pain in the bladder which increases from drinking of even small quantities of water. The retention of urine is spasmodic, with cramps in the bladder, urgent ineffectual efforts to pass urine or painful passing of drop by drop.
The pains of Cantharis are very intense, violent, intolerable, burning, spasmodic, cramp-like, excessive. There may be a paralysis of the neck of the bladder, which to cause quite effortless passage of urine, lasting days and increasing to an extent that the urine could not be retained without effort.
The urethra is swollen, there is passage of bright red blood, with the most violent urging to urinate, and cutting, burning pains through the whole urethra. The pains are most violent at the close of urination. The urine is expelled with great difficulty, continuing urging, pressure in the bladder, and extreme pain as if cutting by knives.
The quantity is small and bloody. The urine is scalding the tissues, it is albuminous with membranous rolled up pieces; it is hot, acrid, colorless or turbid; very pale or bloody.
*Bibliography: T.F. Allen, Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica
To be continued