Urinary Incontinence in Children (cont.)

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How do you differentiate between organic (related to disease or malfunction of an organ) and nonorganic causes of urinary incontinence?

It is important to recognize that most cases of urinary incontinence are caused by nonorganic problems, but since there are organic causes, physicians may evaluate affected children with some basic studies. Evaluation always begins with a complete history and physical exam. This differentiates between the otherwise healthy child and the child with underlying disease. The clinician will probably ask about psychological stressors, such as starting a new school, the birth of a sibling, or parental strife. In addition, in order to evaluate the severity of the symptoms, parents will be encouraged to keep a voiding diary. These are diaries which document the number of daytime voids, volumes, timing, and relationship with eating and drinking. In addition, these diaries should document the frequency of daytime wetting or nighttime wetting. Besides the history, physical, and diary, a urinalysis can be helpful to screen for organic causes, such as diabetes and urinary tract infections. For children with significant daytime symptoms, ultrasound imaging of the urinary tract including bladder and kidneys may be needed to evaluate for anatomic abnormalities. Lastly and rarely, if a neurological cause is suspected, an MRI of the spine may be indicated to evaluate for spinal cord abnormalities.


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Urinary Incontinence in Children - Nighttime Question: Please discuss your child's symptoms of and experience with nighttime incontinence.
Urinary Incontinence in Children - Daytime Question: Does your child have daytime incontinence? Please share your family's experience.
Urinary Incontinence in Children - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medication did your child have for his/her urinary incontinence?
Urinary Incontinence in Children - Coping and Prognosis Question: Did you or your child have urinary incontinence? Please share tips for coping or dealing with the problem.

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