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  • Writer's pictureAku Energija

Treating a UTI with Chinese Medicine

Although commonly called a bladder infection, a urinary tract infection (UTI) may be caused by bacteria in any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters (the tubes that carry urine to the bladder from the kidneys), urethra (the tube that empties the bladder during urination), or bladder (the sac that "holds" urine before it is released through the urethra). The bacteria that cause UTIs most often enter the urethra and travel up through the urinary tract.

Although men can experience infections of the urinary tract, women are much more likely to get them, for a number of reasons. First, because a woman's urethra is shorter than a man's, bacteria can more easily reach the bladder. Second, expectant mothers may be at higher risk for infections of the kidneys because a fetus can put pressure on the ureters. Finally, the act of sexual intercourse can push bacteria into the urethra. Wearing a diaphragm can put pressure on the urethra and make it harder for a woman to completely empty her bladder, causing bacteria to collect and flourish in the uneliminated urine. UTIs can be acute or chronic.

What is UTI?

The main symptoms of a UTI are a burning sensation when urinating, frequent and urgent urination with a reduced amount of urine, blood in the urine, strong smelling urine or cloudy urine.

A number of factors can predispose you to a UTI. These include:

Conventional medicine treats UTIs with antibiotics, but unless the underlying imbalance is rectified, as soon as a person gets rid of one infection with antibiotics, another one sets in. This cycle can be repeated over and over, causing other problems from the side effects of the drugs. [Read more: TCM vs Western Medicine]

How TCM understand UTIs

The underlying systemic imbalance of chronic UTIs in traditional Chinese medicine is usually Kidney Water energy deficiency accompanied by foreign invader. When the bacteria or virus, foreign invader, enters the body, the Kidney system which in charge the urinary tract is not able to clean off immediately because of the insufficiency water energy. Immune cells controlled by the Liver system kick in to kill the invaders but because of the congestion of Liver system or damp heat, the inflammation reaction is too intense causing the burning and painful sensation. Other symptoms include a red tongue with very little coating, and, possibly, irritability and night sweats. [Read more: How viral infection like Cold and Flu Develop in the view of Traditional Chinese medicine]

TCM Treatment for UTIs

Herbal mixture plays an important role in the treatment. ShengDaHaung is used to fill up the Kidney water energy. ChaiHu and HuangQin are used to clean up inflammation. There are also some other herbs to facilitate the urination so the bacterial and toxins are bought out by the urine.

Acute cases often respond very quickly to acupuncture and herbs, sometimes in just a few days or even sooner. The most effective acupuncture point is RN 3 , located directly over the urinary bladder. Another important point is SP 9 , located below the knee along the inside of the tibia bone. This point is often sensitive to pressure if there is a UTI, and it is very useful for all types of imbalances of the urinary tract. Its traditional functions are to transform damp stagnation and benefit the urinary bladder.

During therapy for UTIs, it is important to

  • Avoid sweets completely.

  • Wear cotton underwear to ensure that air circulates and prevents a damp environment.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol.

  • If possible avoid sexual intercourse.

  • After sexual intercourse empty your bladder as soon as possible.

  • Drink coconut water. Cranberry juice only relief the symptoms but cause more damp heat inside the Liver system in the long term.

  • After urinating wipe from front to back to avoid spreading germs from the anus to the urethra.

  • Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches and sexual lubricants.

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