Urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the most common, easily treatable infections. Symptoms of a UTI may include frequent, painful urination, pelvic or back pain, cloudy or discolored urine, and in more severe cases fever. Signs and symptoms will depend on where the infection is located in the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder or urethra), and this will be best diagnosed by your primary care physician. Acupuncture in the treatment of UTIs is effective in increasing white blood cell (leukocyte), thereby increasing the body’s ability to fight infection. Studies to date show that acupuncture raises humoral and cellular immunity for up to 30 days, with peak leukocyte increases within a few hours of treatment and at day 11. In addition, recent studies show that acupuncture is effective at treating and preventing recurrent UTIs. Acupuncture can be used as a stand alone or adjunct treatment method depending on the severity and length of infection. After a thorough intake and evaluation your acupuncturist will determine the best course of treatment for you.
Yamaguchi, N., Takahashi, T., Sakuma, M., Sugita, T., Uchikawa, K., Sakaihara, S., … & Kawakita, K. (2007). Acupuncture regulates leukocyte subpopulations in human peripheral blood. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(4), 447-453.
Alraek, T., Soedal, L. I. F., Fagerheim, S. U., Digranes, A., & Baerheim, A. (2002). Acupuncture treatment in the prevention of uncomplicated recurrent lower urinary tract infections in adult women. American journal of public health, 92(10), 1609-1611.
Author: Erica Rosen, LAc, EAMP, Dipl. O.M.