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September 2021

Traditional Chinese medicine syndromes in women with frequently recurring cystitis: frequencies of syndromes and symptoms

Author(s): Aune, A., Baerheim, A.

Abstract: Background: Frequently recurrent acute cystitis in adult women is common in Western medicine. In prophylactic treatment, women are treated between attacks of acute cystitis to prevent recurrences. A recent study has shown that acupuncture seems effective for prophylaxis. Objectives: To describe the frequency of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) syndromes found in females vulnerable to recurrent cystitis, and which symptoms most often form the basis for TCM diagnoses made in this condition. Methods: A descriptive study based on TCM diagnostic methods as used by experienced acupuncturists, and a questionnaire of symptoms used in TCM diagnostics. Results: Of 61 women with frequently recurring cystitis, 90% were diagnosed as having either a Spleen/Kidney yang xu/qi xu (54%), or a Liver qi stagnation (36%). Only 10% fell in other diagnostic groups. Of all symptoms noted, only three differed in frequency between the two main diagnostic groups: feeling cold (29/33 vs. 13/22, P<0.05), feeling tired (25/33 vs. 4/22, P<0.001), and having a preference for sweets (10/33 vs. 2/22, P<0.05). Conclusion: Our findings have implications for TCM-based diagnostic work in females with recurrent cystitis, and also indicate that recurrent cystitis may be used as a case for further TCM research.

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