If you suffer from UTIs you are not alone – it is estimated that around half of all women in the UK will have had a UTI at some point in their lives. Each year around 150 million UTIs occur worldwide. In this article we will learn about UTIs and UTI treatment without antibiotics.
UTIs are more common in women than in men. It’s estimated half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life. 11% of women reported a UTI and 3% reported recurrent UTI of all women who had ever had a UTI
What are UTIs?
There are three main types of UTIs which are classified according to the part of the urinary tract that becomes infected.
- Urethritis is where the urethra is infected and becomes inflamed.
- Bladder infections or cystitis is the most common type of UTI.
- The most serious type of UTI is when the infection enters the kidney. The medical term for this is
Common symptoms of UTIs include pelvic pain, a burning sensation with urination, and an urgent or frequent need to urinate.
Causes Of UTI
- UTIs are usually the result of bacteria from faeces in your gut entering your urethra – the tube that carries urine out of your body.
- Being sexually active – during sex bacteria can be pushed into the urethra.
- With age and after menopause oestrogen levels drop affecting levels of infection-fighting bacteria
- Dehydration or poor urine flow – incomplete evacuation or reduced volume of urine can promote bacterial growth.
- Having kidney stones or (in men) an enlarged prostate means that urine cannot drain properly.
- Diabetes or a weakened immune system.
- Having had a prior UTI.
- Using a catheter or having undergone a recent surgery or medical procedure involving the urinary tract.
Why are UTI’s more common in women than men?
UTI is more prevalent amongst women as they have a shorter urethra than men and the opening is much closer to the anus than in men meaning that bacteria can more easily enter the urinary tract.
You may be offered advice about how to prevent UTIs, painkillers or antibiotics or to be asked to wait and see if your symptoms improve. If your UTI comes back after treatment, you may have a urine test and be prescribed different antibiotics. If you suffer from recurrent UTIs you may be given a repeat prescription for antibiotics. If you have been through the menopause, you may be offered a vaginal cream that contains oestrogen.
Many people have concerns about taking long term courses of antibiotics and wish to try a more natural UTI Treatment without antibiotics – this is where Chinese Medicine for UTI comes in.
Chinese Medicine For UTI
How Effective is Chinese Medicine For UTI?
There is a wealth of research evidence demonstrating that Chinese Medicine is effective at improving and maintaining good health. TCM theory is based on the understanding that energy – Qi – flows along pathways in the body called meridians, relating to individual organs of the body. If the flow of Qi along these meridians is blocked or unbalanced, illness can occur.
There is a growing body of evidence to recommend the use of acupuncture for this condition.
Understanding How Chinese Medicine Works on UTI
Chinese Medicine considers UTIs as the result from too much heat or dampness in the body which causes inflammation and weakens the immune system – leading to recurrent UTIs.
The main meridians and organs relating to UTIs include the Kidneys and Bladder and the Liver. There are several factors that can cause Urinary Tract Infection symptoms, including Excess Damp Heat in the Bladder, Stagnation of Liver Qi, Kidney Yang Deficiency, Kidney Yin deficiency and Blood Stasis.
Patterns of illness according to TCM:
- Excess damp heat trapped inside the bladder results in a burning sensation with fullness in the lower abdomen, strong smelling urine and the urge to urinate frequently.
- Liver Qi stagnation affects the flow of Qi which affects the flow of urine. Some urine would stay inside the bladder – causing infection.
- Kidney yang deficiency causes a reduced force to push the urine out and some urine would stay inside the bladder and cause infections.
- Kidney yin deficiency is the foundation of the yin fluid of the whole body. If the body lacks yin fluid it will affect the function of all bodily
Symptoms of these patterns include:
- A burning feeling when urinating
- A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out
- Pain or pressure in the back or lower abdomen
- Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
Role of the Kidneys in UTIs
Both Western and Chinese medicine acknowledge the integral role that kidney function plays in regulating the body fluids and the excretion of waste products via urine. Kidneys are one of the most important energy systems in TCM storing some of our deepest levels of energy, being the root of all yin and yang in the body and hold our vital essence.
The underlying pattern of UTI is a kidney yin deficiency. This imbalance is diagnosed by symptoms like chronic fatigue, night sweats, chronic thirst, hot flashes, difficulty with urinating, dry skin and dry tongue, irritability and low libido. When the cooling yin aspect of the kidneys is depleted, it can lead to chronic inflammation.
It is important to note that trying to control a UTI with antibiotics, without addressing the underlying yin deficiency means the immune system will stay weak, leading to the potential recurrence of bacterial infections in the bladder.
Herbal formulas that support the effective functioning of the bladder and kidneys include Liu Wei Di Huang Tang which is a multi-use natural food supplement. This is widely used as a Yin Tonic. This herbal blend can be used to balance hormones , assist with the transition through menopause transition, as well as helping with male and female fertility issues.
Role of the Bladder in UTIs
In Chinese Medicine the bladder has extended functions, including how fluids are transformed during the production of urine. If the kidney is yang deficiency, the bladder may not have the sufficient qi and heat to transform fluids properly into urine. In Chinese Medicine most UTIs are considered to be damp-heat in the lower Jiao (located in the lower abdomen).
Symptoms of damp heat in the bladder include:
- Frequent or urgent urination and pain or burning during urination
- Difficulties in urinating, dark yellow, or cloudy urine
- Fever and Thirst
Role of Liver in UTIs
The Liver is responsible for the free flow of Qi in the lower Jiao. The Liver meridian travels across the lower abdomen and connects with the urinary system and the bladder. Thus, stagnation of Liver Qi can lead to Heat or Damp – resulting in a number of different disorders of the urinary tract including an inability to urinate.
This can be helped with Long Dan Cao Tang which is a natural supplement. It supports the effective function of the Liver and can help with a number of disorders including eliminating heat in the Liver and Gall-bladder channels. This supplement has a cooling effect and increases Yin within the body.
UTI diet and lifestyle advice
There are plenty of simple lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce your risk and duration of a UTI. These include:
- Increasing your water intake – and making sure that you take plenty of bathroom breaks
- Managing your stress
- Minimising your consumption of sugar
- Taking a break from intercourse
- Avoiding spicy food that can irritate your bladder
Herbs For UTI
UTI Treatment Without Antibiotics
Natural Dandelion is a high grade botanical extract which offers natural antibacterial and antiviral properties along with promoting natural detoxification. It is a powerful antioxidant, a natural diuretic and anti-inflammatory herb that promotes digestion and strengthens the immune system. It works by eliminating toxic heat from the body and provides relief from symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cold, and flu.
Anemarrhena Rhizome offers effective natural antibacterial and antiviral properties to clear inflammatory and infectious conditions. It can be used daily as a Yin tonic to hydrate the body, reduce skin dryness, body temperature, intense thirst, dry cough and expel phlegm.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.