The information provided here is not a replacement for a doctor. You shouldn't use it for the purpose of self-diagnosing or self-medicating but rather so you can have a more informed discussion with a professional TCM practitioner.
In Chinese Medicine, urinary retention is sometimes associated with Kidney Yang Deficiency, a so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease" because both concepts arise from totally different ways of seeing the human body.
To understand whether someone's urinary retention might be caused by the pattern Kidney Yang Deficiency, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from urinary retention alone. Indeed if urinary retention is caused by Kidney Yang Deficiency, patients also experience symptoms such as lower back pain, weakness of the lower extremities, cold sensation in the lower half of the body and lower abdominal pressure. Similarly, patients with Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.
We've listed below a more detailed description of Kidney Yang Deficiency so that you can have a better understanding of where urinary retention might find its root according to Chinese Medicine.
Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below Shen Qi Wan, a formula that can help treat Kidney Yang Deficiency.
The Kidneys is a so-called "Zang" Organ. Learn more about the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine
Pulse type(s): Empty (Xu), Weak (Ruo)
Tongue coating: Thin white coating
Tongue color: Pale
Tongue shape: Swollen
Recommended herbal formula: Shen Qi Wan
Urinary retention might be due to Kidney Yang Deficiency if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as lower back pain, weakness of the lower extremities, cold sensation in the lower half of the body and lower abdominal pressure. Similarly, patients with Kidney Yang Deficiency typically exhibit empty (Xu) or weak (Ruo) pulses as well as a pale tongue with thin white coating.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 8 herbs
Key actions: Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.
Because it is a formula often recommended to help treat Kidney Yang Deficiency, a pattern sometimes associated with urinary retention. If it looks like you might suffer from Kidney Yang Deficiency, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).