A Question of Health

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Both my five-year-old son and my husband wet the bed at night. I have talked to the doctor about our son, but I do not know how to help my husband. He either denies it or says that one of the children must have come into the bed and had an accident. This is not a subject I can discuss with anyone.

Both my five-year-old son and my husband wet the bed at night. I have talked to the doctor about our son, but I do not know how to help my husband. He either denies it or says that one of the children must have come into the bed and had an accident. This is not a subject I can discuss with anyone.

Bedwetting among adults is not common, but it is not unknown. There are several possible causes, but first you need to help your husband realise that he needs medical help. When the time seems right, sit down and have a sympathetic talk with him. Don't get cross, and if he does, try to gently steer him back to the fact that he needs help. He could have a low-grade bladder or kidney infection or there may be a neurological problem that prevents him from knowing his bladder is full. But some people simply produce more urine at night than their bladder can hold. For this group, the problem can usually be solved by using a drug called desmopressin that reduces the amount of urine produced during the night. Desmopressin comes in tablet form, or as a simple nasal spray.

There is a minor epidemic of threadworm in my child's nursery. What is the best way to treat it?

The threadworm lives happily in the intestine of humans. At night, it ventures onto the skin around the anus to lay its eggs. This makes the skin itchy. Children (and adults) tend to scratch itchy skin. The eggs get onto the hands and under the fingernails. Children lick their fingers, and the eggs re-enter their body and the cycle goes on. Three things help to break it: wear underwear in bed (to keep the eggs from the fingers); wash your hands and scrub your fingernails several times a day, particularly after going to the toilet; take Vermox (available from chemists) to kill the threadworms that are living in your intestine.

I am a diabetic who has daily insulin injections. I normally keep my insulin in the fridge, according to the instructions. I am travelling to India. Is it safe to use insulin that is not refrigerated?

Once an insulin vial is started, it can be kept at room temperature (up to 86 deg F/30 deg C) for up to four weeks, as long as it is kept away from direct heat or sunlight. If you are careful to keep it out of very high temperatures, it should be perfectly all right.

Please send your questions to A Question of Health, 'The Independent', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL; fax 020-7293 2182; or e-mail to health@independent.co.uk. Dr Kavalier regrets that he is unable to respond personally to your questions

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