A 2019 study at Jiaozuo Hospital (Henan, China) concluded that acupuncture improves bladder function in diabetic patients with neurogenic bladder (nerve damage to the bladder). It is a form of diabetic neuropathy causing a variety of conditions from overactive bladder to impaired bladder contractility.
The study observed patients who had been diagnosed with DNB (diabetic neurogenic bladder). Neurogenic bladder causes a host of problems including: (1) difficulty starting and maintaining urination, (2) frequent, incomplete urination, (3) reduced urinary frequency, (4) incomplete emptying of the bladder, (5) urgent urination, (6) loss of bladder control, (7) decreased bladder sensation, (8) inability to feel when the bladder is full and (9) decreased bladder contractility.
Researchers compared two groups. The first group received acupuncture plus vitamin B12. The second group received only vitamin
B12. The acupuncture group had much greater improvements in bladder function, blood glucose control and clinical symptoms compared to the vitamin B12 control group.
122 patients with DNB were randomly assigned to the acupuncture group or the control group. The acupuncture group had 32 male and 29 female patients, ages 55 years, that had been diagnosed with diabetes for an average of 9 years. The control group had 34 male and 27 female patients, with an average age of 50, also having diabetes for an average of 9 years. All participants met the diagnostic criteria for DNB, including having symptoms of inhibited urination, urinary retention, urinary incontinence, frequent night urination, fatigue, dry mouth, and excessive thirst. The study goal was to see if acupuncture improves bladder function.
Both groups received lifestyle advice, including dietary suggestions, exercises and blood glucose control suggestions. In addition, all were prescribed vitamin B12 (0.5 mg, 3 times daily, 30 minutes after eating). Treatment was administered daily for four weeks. Every participant in the acupuncture group received the identical base treatment:
In addition, secondary acupoints were selected based on individual presentation of conditions and included:
Patients were instructed to fully urinate before each treatment. The primary acupuncture points were used at every treatment, along with 4 to 6 of the secondary points. Treatments were given daily for four weeks.
The results clearly showed that acupuncture improves bladder function. Outcome measures included urinary frequency, daily average urine volume and maximum urinary output. Also included were blood glucose levels and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) symptom scores (dry mouth, thirst, fatigue, low back and knee pain).
Before treatment, the number of urinations per day was 9.38 in the control group and 9.26 in the acupuncture group. After treatment, these figures fell to 7.82 and 6.74 respectively. Before treatment the daily average urine volume was 189 mL in the control group and 192 mL in the acupuncture group. After treatment, this increased to 268 mL and 384 mL respectively.
Participants in the acupuncture group experienced significantly greater improvements across all measures of bladder function. This also held true for blood glucose control and TCM symptom scores. The acupuncture group outperformed the control every time.
The study demonstrated that acupuncture provides substantial relief from diabetic neurogenic bladder by improving bladder function, regulating blood glucose levels and reducing common symptoms.
Acupuncture Improves Bladder Function
This study supports our own experience at Raleigh Acupuncture. Diabetic patients with bladder issues find significant relief from acupuncture. Acupuncture strengthens the bladder’s ability to function properly. Non-diabetic patients who suffer from bladder issues also find significant relief from acupuncture.
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Improved Diabetic Bladder Function
Acupuncture is safe and delivers long lasting results. Better than medications. Acupuncture improves bladder function naturally.
Feng Wentao, Chen Gaijuan, Hou Xiaohui (2019) “Treatment of diabetic neurogenic bladder with warm acupuncture combined with western medicine, clinical symptoms, residual bladder volume” Asia-Pacific Traditional Medicine Vol.15 (8) pp.101-103.
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