Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Some people are interested in trying alternative medicine to treat bed-wetting. Alternative medicine is the use of a nonconventional approach instead of conventional medicine. Others may want to try complementary medicine — a nonconventional approach used along with conventional medicine — to treat bed-wetting.

Several therapies, such as hypnosis and acupuncture, have limited evidence of effectiveness, and others don't have evidence to support their use.

  • Hypnosis. Small trials of hypnosis coupled with suggestions of waking up in a dry bed or visiting the toilet in the night found that this therapy may help some children stay dry throughout the night, but more research is needed.
  • Acupuncture. This treatment involves the insertion of fine needles in specific parts of the body. Acupuncture may be effective for some children, but more research is needed.
  • Diet. Some people believe that certain foods affect bladder function and that removing these foods from the diet could help decrease bed-wetting. The evidence is uncertain and more research is needed.
  • Chiropractic therapy. The idea behind chiropractic therapy is that if the spine is out of alignment, normal bodily functions will be affected. However, there's little evidence regarding the use of chiropractic therapy for the treatment of bed-wetting.
  • Homeopathy and herbs. Although some people are interested in homeopathic remedies and herbal products, none of these has proved effective in clinical trials.

Be sure to talk to your child's doctor before starting any complementary or alternative therapy. If you choose a nonconventional approach, ask the doctor if it's safe for your child and make sure it won't interact with any medications your child may take.

Oct. 11, 2014