By Mary Vincent, L.Ac.
A urinary tract infection, otherwise know as a “bladder infection” is a common complaint that many people will experience at least once in their lives. They can be caused by bacteria entering any part of the urinary tract, which typically affects the bladder but can also affect the kidneys, ureters (tubes that bring urine from the kidneys to the bladder), and urethra (the tube that passes urine out of the bladder during urination). It is a much more common occurrence among women, though we do see the occasional man come through BCA with UTI as their chief complaint. Women are more susceptible to them due to the simple fact that a women’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, thus bacteria is able to find it’s way into the bladder with greater ease. Sexual intercourse is often the culprit in aiding bacteria that get pushed into the urinary tract. You are also more likely to get a UTI if you have diabetes or any physical condition that can impede the flow of urine from the bladder (pregnancy, kidney stone, enlarged prostate, ect.).
It is usually very clear when you have a UTI, as symptoms cause obvious and increasingly worse discomfort rather rapidly.
Symptoms include:
▪ Burning pain with urination
▪ Feeling the need to urinate, but very little comes out when you do
▪ Lower abdominal pressure or pain
▪ Cloudy urine with strong odor (can be pink or red if infection is more severe and blood is in urine)
▪ Lower back pain, particularly in kidney areas (below ribs), typically only on one side
▪ Fever and/or chills
Can Acupuncture Help?
If this is the first (and hopefully only) urinary tract infection you have ever experienced [...]