Yes, acupuncture and Chinese medicine have a lot to offer in terms of treatment for Interstitial cystitis (IC) and relief from the discomfort of Interstitial cystitis (IC)
What is Interstitial cystitis (IC)?
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a condition that results in recurring
discomfort or pain in the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region.
The symptoms vary from case to case and even in the same individual.
People may experience mild discomfort, pressure, tenderness, or intense
pain in the bladder and pelvic area. Symptoms may include an urgent
need to urinate (urgency), a frequent need to urinate (frequency), or a
combination of these symptoms. Pain may change in intensity as the
bladder fills with urine or as it empties. Women's symptoms often get
worse during menstruation. They may sometimes experience pain with
Because IC varies so much in symptoms and severity, most researchers
believe that it is not one, but several diseases. In recent years,
scientists have started to use the term painful bladder syndrome (PBS)
to describe cases with painful urinary symptoms that may not meet the
strictest definition of IC. The term IC / PBS includes all cases of
urinary pain that can't be attributed to other causes, such as
infection or urinary stones. The term interstitial cystitis, or IC, is
used alone when describing cases that meet all of the IC criteria
established by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
ORIENTAL DIAGNOSIS OF IC IS DEFICIENT KIDNEY ENERGY
IC symptoms include extreme pain in their pelvic area,
frequency, low energy, and weakness in their lower back area and discomfort in
the inner thigh area. This is a typical kidney deficiency.
TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF IC SYNDROMES
1. IC patients are not all the same and fall into two
different categories. 70 - 80% of them are cold IC patients. Their hands and
feet are icy cold. They look pale. They donít want to drink a lot of water.
They may feel relief after urination. Emotionally, they express more feelings
of depression than anxiety. This is a group of kidney Yang energy deficient
syndrome patients. The sign is their cold hands and feet.
2. About 20% of the patients are hot IC patients. Instead of
icy cold hands, their hands and feet are kind of warm. They are thirsty and
drink a lot of water. They may not feel empty or relief after urination.
Emotionally they express more feelings of anxiety than depression. This is a
group of kidney Yin energy deficient syndrome patients. The sigh is their hands
are warm. This group of IC patients seems to have a more sensitive bladder.
They are allergic to many things and even the basic nutrients make them flare
up.THE FUNCTION OF KIDNEY SYSTEM
In Oriental medicine, the kidney is a place of storage of
the congenital energy known as Qi. Its function is to excrete waste through the
urine. The kidney is the original source of energy in the body for growth and
function. It is not difficult to understand why IC patients are exhausted. The
basic theory is that the kidney and bladder work as a pair in function. The
kidney is the controller and the bladder is the executive organ. In Chinese
medicine, chronic bladder disorders are due to kidney dysfunction.
THE CHINESE MEDICINE EXPLANATION OF IC SYMPTOMS
The Chinese medicine explanation of IC symptoms is the
following: Pain and burning are experienced because of the meridian blockage of
both the bladder and kidney and thus the Qi can not flow through the meridian.
The frequency is caused by the lack of power in the kidney which causes the
bladder to be out of control. The discomfort in the inner thigh area is because
this is the pass way of that meridian. The weakness in the lower back is on the
location of the blocked meridian. The dizziness and ear ringing is because the
ears are the opening of the kidney meridian.