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Treatment and Prevention of UTIs with Acupuncture
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) houses an effective treatment method—acupuncture—that can be beneficial for numerous health conditions such as macular degeneration, depression, weight loss and erectile dysfunction. Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that involves the insertion of very thin needles at strategic points known as acupuncture points. Here is how acupuncture can help patients with Urinary Tract Infection if they do not want heavy courses of antibiotics.
UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) – Symptoms and Complications
UTIs are more common in women than in men. It is an infection that may affect any part of the urinary system: the kidneys, ureter, urinary bladder, and urethra. However, if a UTI spreads to the kidneys, serious complications may follow. The signs and symptoms of a UTI may include a strong and persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating, frequent and small amounts of urine, red or pink urine caused by blood, a strong urine odor, and pelvic pain in women. Complications from UTIs include chronic inflammation of the bladder, permanent kidney damage, urethral narrowing in men, and sepsis—which can be life-threatening.
Causes of UTI
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder. People who are under stress or eat a lot of processed food are more likely to develop a UTI. The immune system is usually effective in fighting these microscopic invaders, but sometimes the system may fall short. The most common UTIs are cystitis and urethritis. Cystitis is the infection or inflammation of the urinary bladder which is typically caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli). Urethritis is an infection of the urethra caused by gastrointestinal bacteria. Factors which increase the risk of UTIs include abnormalities of the urinary tract, a weakened immune system, catheter use, and hormone imbalance. Menopause women tend to develop UIT because of the hormone changes.
Acupuncture for UTI – Benefits
Traditional Chinese Medicine contends that the kidneys control water metabolism. Moreover, all of the issues related to bladder, ureter, and prostate function are related to the kidneys. The symptoms of a UTI are related to bladder dampness and heat. Acupuncture aims to expel the dampness and clear the heat. Many acupuncture points have an excellent function in regulating urinary disorders. Acupuncture for UTI is based on the principle that there is a universal life energy called qi present in every living creature. This energy circulates along pathways called meridians. Disharmonies occur when the flow of qi is obstructed. Acupuncture works to fix this energy flow. The objective of acupuncture for UTI is to correct blockages of qi and enhance the immune function to decrease the risk of future UTIs. Acupuncture can also help improve the function of bladder, so the patients will not have urine retention, which make people prone to UTI.
Research Support of Acupuncture
Researchers have verified that acupuncture can clear up UTIs by balancing immune function and enhancing kidney function. A study published in the Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, Acupuncture in Medicine, cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information observes a lower risk of UTIs in stroke patients treated with acupuncture. Another study published by Drug and Therapeutic Bulletin, cited in NCBI, shows the effectiveness of acupuncture and herbal medicine in the prevention of recurrent UTIs.
Summary: Acupuncture can be used to treat or prevent UTI for patients with recurrent UTIs more effectively than antibiotics. Acupuncture can also improve your immune and kidney function.
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