Chinese Medicine Used to Treat Urinary Tract Infections
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In Chinese medicine, UTI’s generally fall into a pattern of excess or a depletion. Excess patterns are due to an accumulation or too much of something. Bladder infections that are excess tend to be a combination of dampness (an accumulation of fluids) and heat. The most notable symptom of this kind of pattern is a burning pain during urination. A damp heat UTI can be the result of too much alcohol, hot spicy food, sweets, or poor hygiene.

UTI’s that are caused by depletion are usually the result of being run down from aging, not sleeping well, poor diet, and…um, too much sex. Living life a little too fully can wear down your Chinese Kidney and/or Spleen to the point that you’re unable to metabolize water or control the mechanism of the bladder very well. The end result can be incontinence or dribbling, dull and achy pain, and a sore lower back. To further complicate the diagnosis, in Chinese medicine, bladder infections are grouped into six different types:

Heat. This is the typical bladder infection, with sharp, burning pain. You may also run a fever, have constipation, thirst, or a bitter taste in your mouth.

Stony. Tthis one really hurts with the kind of pain that can bring you to your knees. This is essentially kidney stones, and the symptoms include severe low back or abdominal pain, cramping, difficulty urinating, urinating blood, and passing stones in the urine.

Qi. This is all about your Qi, or energy, and can be either excess or deficient. An excess pattern means that your energy is stagnating and causing symptoms, which include difficult urination, a feeling of fullness or pain in your lower abdomen, and possibly chest tightness or rib pain. A depleted Qi pattern is caused by not having enough energy for your bladder to metabolize water. Symptoms in this case may include a feeling of heaviness in your lower abdomen, dripping or incontinence, possibly a pale complexion, feeling tired, shortness of breath, and an achy lower back.

Bloody. This pattern can also be from either an excess or a depletion, but either way, there will be blood in your urine. An excess pattern is essentially heat causing you to bleed, with symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, sharp burning pain, and of course, blood in your urine–usually a fair amount. A depletion can also cause blood in your urine, but there typically won’t be as much blood, or the bleeding will occur over a long period of time. Also, if this pattern is from being depleted, it won’t generally be as sharply painful, but you may feel tired and you may have a weak, achy low back and/or knees.

Cloudy. Like the bloody pattern, this one can come from either an excess or a depletion. The common denominator, however is cloudy or milky looking urine. If caused by an excess, this type will have very cloudy urine with urethral pain and burning. If from a depletion, your symptoms may include dribbling of cloudy looking urine, mild urethral pain, dizziness, ringing ears, and again, a weak or achy lower back and knees. This pattern tends to affect people who have a thin, weak, or depleted body type.

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