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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections of the kidney, bladder, and urethra.
UTIs are generally triggered by bacteria and are more common when there is partial blockage of the urinary tract. In some people, UTIs tend to recur.
Symptoms of a UTI usually begin suddenly and include frequent urination that is irritating or burning, a persistent urge to urinate even after the bladder has been emptied, and cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen. The urine often has a strong or unusual smell and may appear cloudy. In more serious infections, fever, chills, pain in the back below the ribs, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also be present.
Acupuncture might be of some benefit for women with recurrent UTIs. A controlled study compared acupuncture to sham (“fake”) acupuncture or no treatment in a group of women with recurrent UTIs. After six months, the women receiving real acupuncture had half as many UTI episodes as the sham group and only one-third as many as the untreated group, a significant difference.1
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.