Avoiding caffeine to prevent bed-wetting

People's Pharmacy

September 13, 1998|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D. | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Q. I was so glad to read your recommendation that a bed-wetter avoid caffeine. I had a serious problem with bed-wetting into my early 20s, which ended completely and immediately after I gave up caffeine!

While I have never really researched the subject, I have never seen caffeine mentioned in other columns I have read on this topic. I am certain that avoiding caffeine can prevent a great deal of misery for many bed-wetters and only hope this receives more publicity.

A. Thanks for your compelling story. Caffeine has a diuretic effect, which might undermine a person's efforts to stay dry all night. Parents should remember that the caffeine in soft drinks, as well as the related compound found in chocolate, could pose a problem for a young child.

Q. For a person who doesn't like taking drugs, I sure swallow a lot of pills every day. My doctor has put me on Estrace for menopausal symptoms, prednisone for fibromyalgia, hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure and Zantac for a hiatal hernia.

I believe in good nutrition, but I am not sure if my vitamins and minerals will interact with these drugs. Is there a resource that will tell me which supplements interact with my medicines and with each other?

A. We're glad you're thinking about supplements, because your medications can deplete your body of nutrients. Your blood pressure medicine, for example, makes your body lose magnesium, potassium and zinc. These minerals are important for normal blood pressure as well as general good health.

Prednisone also depletes potassium and may have a negative impact on vitamin D and calcium. You may need additional B vitamins (folic acid, B-6 and B-12) if you stay on this medication. The estrogen you take also raises requirements for folic acid and vitamin B-6, while long-term use of Zantac may interfere with the absorption of vitamin B-12.

Write to the Graedons in care of The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or e-mail to pharmacindspring.com.

King Features Syndicate

Pub Date: 9/13/98

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