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Urinary Urgency

Urinary Urgency

Urinary Urgency, Di Gui Pi and Sang Bai Pi

Urinary urgency is characterized by a sudden urge to urinate, along with potential incontinence and a need to urinate more frequently. Nighttime urgency (nocturia) is also common, so the condition can be disruptive around the clock.

Symptoms vary in intensity from person to person, but there are treatment options that can support better quality of life. This includes western and Chinese modalities such as herbal formulations.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Urinary Urgency?

Western and Chinese medicine have differing perspectives on the condition.

Western physicians ascribe the condition to overactive bladder muscles. These muscles are responsible for pushing urine out of the bladder, and in people with urinary urgency, the muscles contract involuntarily, even when there’s little urine in the bladder.

Risk factors of urinary urgency include:

  • Some chronic conditions, such as diabetes and some neurological conditions
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Age
  • Hormone changes
  • Some medications
  • Overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol

Chinese medicine takes a different approach to the condition. Houston Practitioners consider the body’s organs to be interdependent on each other and not compartmentalized. As such, weakness in one organ can cause dysfunction in another seemingly distant organ.

This is the case in many people with urinary urgency and overactive bladder. Specifically, it is weakness in the lungs giving rise to bladder dysfunction. Keep in mind that the lungs, like the bladder, are responsible for water metabolization, so the organs are more closely linked than they may seem.

In our Houston practice, we find that heat in the lungs is a common cause of urinary urgency. This could be due to the area’s climate or higher prevalence of airborne pollutants.

How Can Chinese Herbs Like Di Gui Pi and Sang Bai Pi Help With Urinary Urgency?

For many patients, a combination of western and eastern modalities can be more effective than either approach alone. For Chinese medicine practitioners, frontline treatment for urinary urgency includes beneficial botanicals. Di Gui Pi (wolfberry root and bark) and Sang Bai Pi (mulberry root and bark) are a commonly prescribed pair of herbs used for this purpose.

Both are considered cold herbs, known for their heat draining (or “clearing”) properties. When used in conjunction, Di Gui Pi and Sang Bai Pi can support better lung function, and we find that many patients report better lung performance after taking the herbs. By strengthening the lungs in this way, bladder health and function is also supported, helping offset urinary urgency and similar bladder issues. Have a conversation with your Licensed Houston practitioner today to understand the ways they can be of assistance.

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